A veteran Women's Refuge worker says a government-sponsored family
violence intervention programme won't work for Maori.
Work and Income case managers have been instructed to call in Child,
Youth and Family and other government agencies when they suspect
violence is happening in a family.
But Mereana Pitman, Refuge's national project manager, says the policy
was launched without consultation with the Women's Refuge movement.
She says half Refuge's clients are Maori, and many are reliant on
government agencies like WINZ.
When that becomes known that that is what WINZ will do to you when
you go there, then our people are not going to go there. They'll go
underground, and that means they are not accruing what is due to them,
because they are afraid that their children will be taken,away Ms Pitman says.