Discussion paper

Pacific populations in New Zealand have significant rates of family violence as both victims and perpetrators.The main Pacific groups in New Zealand are the Samoan, Cook Island, Tongan, Fijian, Tokelauan, Niuean, and Tuvaluan peoples. The authors argue that holistic, collaborative, and collective approaches to addressing family violence for Pacific families are essential for their healing process. However, there is currently a mismatch between macro policies and micro practices in family violence service delivery. This mismatch contributes to disparities and inequities affecting the lives and wellbeing of Pacific families in New Zealand. The authors propose that transparent integration of macro-level policies and micro service provision has significant potential to enhance effective outcomes for Pacific families.

Key messages:

  • Pacific peoples experience significant rates of family violence in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • ‘Mainstream’ family violence initiatives and programmes are not usually effective for Pacific peoples. Using Western tools and ideologies for interventions is not ideal for addressing issues of family violence for Pacific families and communities, given the differences between common Pacific perceptions and meanings around issues of violence
  • There is a need to accommodate Pacific worldviews in order to deliver meaning and information around violence into policies, funding allocation, and strategies developed by the government
  • Bridging the gaps between micro and macro practices will have a higher possibility of achieving effective outcomes for family violence among Pacific families.
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