30 Jun 2018

'You don't start off life as a tiny baby being violent'

8:26 am on 30 June 2018

Violence in the home has become a "national emergency" that needs a nationwide response, a domestic abuse organisation says.

domestic violence, abuse

Photo: eakmoto/123RF

The comments come after convicted murderer Turiarangi Tai was sentenced yesterday to at least 17 years' jail for killing his girlfriend Chozyn Koroheke with a shotgun, after a month of vicious attacks on her.

At the Auckland High Court, Justice Muir called the murder a "sad indictment on New Zealand society and its shocking domestic violence record".

Shine director Jane Drumm supported Justice Muir's strong statement against domestic violence.

"A judge of the High Court is in a position to see the worst of crime and in many ways set the standards of what is acceptable and what isn't."

Ms Koroheke's death was a tragedy borne out of a cycle of domestic violence, which Tai was also a victim of as a child, Ms Drumm said.

"You don't start off life as a tiny baby being violent.

"Clearly, he's been brutalised by the way he's been brought up."

Ms Drumm said New Zealand had the worst rates of domestic violence in the OECD and it was "nothing to be proud of".

The country needed to start thinking about the way it was bringing up boys and its attitudes to violence.

Further funding had to be allocated to front line support staff and nationwide programmes, similar to the anti-smoking campaign, Ms Drumm said.