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Wairua part of violence recovery

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A Māori working to address sexual violence says new family violence laws open the door for Māori concepts and practices to become incorporated in the court system.

The new laws include updating the definition of family violence, creating key principles and a guide to decision-making when dealing with family violence, improving access to protection orders, property orders, and safety programmes, extending police safety orders, and increasing information sharing between agencies.

Joy Te Wiata from Te Ohākī a Hine, the National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together, says they address matters that TOAH_NNEST has raised over many years.

She says whānau Māori have found the legal system has been about disconnection rather than the connection needed for healing to start.

"So it's about drawing people back to practices such as manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, we honour the mana of the whānau, we address the issue of wairua, so there are spiritual domains that are really important," Ms Te Wiata says.

She says the question facing offenders and whether they have been able to rehabilitate may be as simple as the state of their wairua.



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