16 May 2022

Oranga Tamariki spends bulk of funds set aside for sexual violence services

11:39 am on 16 May 2022

Spending on sexual violence services by Oranga Tamariki is on track this year, following major underspending last year.

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Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The children's ministry by April had spent all but $1 million of the $11.5m allocated for this financial year.

Two thirds of this has gone on sexual violence crisis support services, through about 30 community providers.

The remaining $4m has gone into services where concerning sexual behaviour is identified, through five providers.

Last year the agency underspent its sexual violence funding by almost 40 percent, which it sheeted home to having to move slowly as iwi providers got up to speed.

The government earlier this month announced another $114m over four years to prevent sexual and family violence.

Services for children are particularly poorly resourced.

Adult services are run by the Ministry of Social Development.

MSD has done a baseline survey of non-Māori (tauiwi) services in 2021, which found the 2019-20 Budget funding had helped, though not nearly enough.

A full tauiwi evaluation won't be complete till next year - and so far the ministry has not made public any evaluation of kaupapa Māori services.

This was not because Māori services had lower priority, general manager of Safe, Strong Communities and Families Mark Henderson said.

"The evaluation of kaupapa Māori services has not been delayed. It will continue to take place as the services are established and become operational, and it therefore becomes possible to evaluate them.

"These services are still being established, as are the frameworks and processes we will use to evaluate their work and our support for them."

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