New sexual violence court pilot welcomed


Te Ohaaki A Hine- National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) welcome the recent announcement from Justice Minister Amy Adams that a pilot programme regarding sexual violence cases will be trialled in the Auckland and Whangarei courts. Judge Jan Marie Doogue noted the negative impacts on victims due to the current lack of timeliness in such court proceedings and indicated that the aim of the pilot is to reduce adjournments and delays. TOAH-NNEST believes that timeliness would greatly improve the court experience for victims of sexual violence and are delighted that the pilot programme includes specialist sexual violence training for judges.

Chairperson of the TOAH-NNEST Tauiwi caucus; Maggy Tai Rakena said today “Over the course of many years trying to support children, youth and adult victims of sexual violence to navigate New Zealand’s court system, the sector has been repeatedly disappointed by the lack of understanding demonstrated by many involved in all aspects of the court system. Judges live in our communities and are affected by public misconceptions about sexual violence. It is wonderful to hear that a professional education programme will be made available to them and thereby better enable them to undertake their complex role.”

Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga Sandz Peipi of TOAH-NNEST anticipates that “the trial will provide opportunity for robust review and evaluation by all those who will utilize the court system inclusive of the specialist sexual violence sector.”

As a national network, TOAH-NNEST looks forward to working with Minister Adams and the Justice department to support better outcomes for victims of sexual violence that choose to access the Court process. End.

TOAH-NNEST meets with US Vice-President Joe Biden


United States of America, Vice-President Joe Biden is currently on a Pacific tour, visiting Aotearoa and attended a reception in Auckland last night hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

Members from our organisation were graciously invited to attend. ‘’It was a surreal experience’’ Sandz Peipi, Kaitakawaenga said from Auckland this morning. Sandz and Louise Nicholas were privileged to meet Vice President Joe Biden in person and have time together to discuss with him TOAH-NNEST and members work as well as hear the Vice Presidents own reflections and his passion on standing against Sexual Violence.

Hon Biden is a spokesperson for the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses and encourage students to pledge to intervene as bystanders when they see actions where assault could occur. In June, Biden wrote an open letter to the woman sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was sentenced to just six months in prison for the crime. He wrote telling her that the statement she read at her assailant’s sentencing is “forever seared on my soul.” “I am filled with furious anger—both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth,” he wrote. “It must have been wrenching—to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breath-taking”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Biden took things a step further and suggested the federal government “take away their money” if any college fails to reform its policies and take a harder line against cases of sexual assault. “Now is the time to put the pedal to the medal,” the Vice President said, referring to the administration’s latest decision. Under the policy, President Barack Obama, Biden, their wives and members of the Cabinet will no longer visit higher education institutions where officials are deemed to be doing a poor job tackling the troubling frequency of reported sexual assaults, according to The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin. These moves are a series of dramatic steps employed by the White House to make it easier for victims to report the crime and for schools to regulate harm caused by perpetrators.

As a long standing politician, we admired his on-going dedication to end sexual violence, coupled with the commitment that the White House have made in advancing societal and cultural changes around sexual assault in recent years.

We wish to cordially thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing us the opportunity to meet such an influential and awe inspiring person. END

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Call on Govenment and Children’s commissioner to prioritise child sexual violence

Thursday, 30 June 2016

TOAH-NNEST strongly supports the call for the new Children’s Commissioner to place particularly focused attention on the issue of Sexual Violence against children and youth.

In Aotearoa, professionals seeking to tackle this problem have struggled for many years to achieve the attention and focus in communities.  While it is an unpalatable topic, the community’s silence merely assists its continuation.  Maggy Tai Rakena, Tauiwi Chair of TN says “It is really encouraging to hear our communities more recently expressing their outrage that our children and young people are harmed in sexual ways”.

Sexual Violence is an extremely complex problem that requires a well-researched, well planned and well-resourced response. It will also require a whole of community response. About 90% of sexual offending against children is perpetrated by people known to them. A process of grooming or conning the other adults in the child’s life often enables the offender access. That suggests that if all of NZ’s adults had better information and awareness about sexual violence, collectively we would be better equipped to keep all of our children safe.  Sexual Violence is a solvable problem; it requires us all to play our part. It is definitely time for some focused resourcing of the remedies and solutions that are required.

Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga/National Manager Sandz Peipi says”Aotearoa is long overdue for a brave conversation about the sexualized ways being perpetrated on children, ignoring it will not make it go away magically. There are some great opportunities for government to recognise solutions available through indigenous frameworks developed from a maori world view”.

Tangata whenua are known leaders within the international indigenous audience and have spent many years engaging and building relationships with this community to assist and respond to the impact of colonisation worldwide, it is now time for Aotearoa to recognise the real solutions we hold. A whanau ora approach will not only ensure a better outcome for Maori but a better response at a national level and can be easily integrated through out Aotearoa. Existing service delivery will only be enhanced through the inclusion and resourcing of our services, providing people with greater access and choice.

We are optimistic that the Government will find value investing in the development, implementation and delivery of an indigenous model particularly heightened by the violence against defenceless and extremely vulnerable children. END

News Source:

TOAH-NNEST pleased to receive the pre-budget announcement today on Sexual Violence services.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

TOAH-NNEST welcomes Ministers Adam and Tolley’s pre-budget announcement in light of months of uncertainty for the sector services. “An injection of more money will be fantastic.” TOAH-NNEST spokesperson Ms Lyons. The increased budget of 46 million dollars to support sexual violence responses in Aotearoa, New Zealand will greatly benefit specialist’s services. This will enable agencies across the sector to continue supporting our communities to have healthy relationships.

“We appreciate the ministries are working hard to provide a more adequate and consistent approach to their funding and support of Sexual Violence services across the country.”

TOAH-NNEST and members look forward to open collaboration with Government and ministries on co- design of any new models to be considered. Ms Peipi TOAH-NNEST spokesperson notes “throughout their 30yrs plus of service delivery members have been able to work with police, acc and government to ensure policies and guidelines put the victim at the centre of the process and have for many years provided 24/7 support without adequate resource, in recognition of the need.”

TOAH-NNEST foresee an opportunity to identify priority areas of workforce development for the sector and to ensure appropriate and adequate services are developed for Māori. Sexual violence is not a Maori problem, but given what we know about the impact it is vital that government recognise indigenous pathways as the most effective solution for all. Nga Kaitiaki Mauri o TOAH-NNEST hope to engage with government specifically around this.

Ms Peipi concludes “In the coming days, we await further details of the $46 million distribution and how engagement will occur.”

News source:  Beehive Press Release 18/05/2016


Friday, 1 April 2016

The sector is very pleased to see that the government has accepted and aligned its work priorities with many of the recommendations of the Select Committee Inquiry into Sexual Violence Services. We acknowledge the massive contribution from Government, NGO agencies, communities and individuals within this process and the advocacy and expert work required to get to this point in this Community-Government collaboration.

Sector specialists have worked with Governments over many years to obtain a better response to sexual violence. They participated in the development and now integration of the new ACC pathway and can confirm that ACC’s reported increase in those accessing service is also reflected within specialist providers.

Many specialist services continue to provide excellent, wrap around services and healing pathways for their communities despite unstable and financially unsustainable environments. The sector needs the Government to urgently increase funding to support the implementation of these recommendations, including further scoping and consultation as highlighted by the government response.  This Government’s commitment to on-going funding to maintain a sustainable service sector is essential.

Nga Kaitiaki Mauri congratulates the Government on their support for the recommendations specific to Kaupapa Maori delivery.  Extensive research evidences increased engagement when tangata whenua are able to access support from a Maori world view and this mirrors multiple international studies that validate indigenous practice.

While international models are useful to explore, TOAH-NNEST supports evidence based local solutions. We believe Aotearoa is a unique environment that requires considered thought and respect for our founding partnership, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the communities who live here.

TOAH-NNEST acknowledges the dedicated work of some particular politicians who have ensured that sexual violence has remained on the Government’s agenda and we will keenly watch to see the Government’s recommendations come to fruition.

We request that the Government continue to work with TOAH-NNEST as representatives of the specialist sexual violence sector.


Media spokespeople:
Sands Peipi, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga: Telephone: 021 7771832, Email:
Clare Lyons: Tauiwi Caucus Manager: Telephone: 021 633949, Email:
Louise Nicholas: TOAH-NNEST National Survivor Advocate: Telephone: 021326505, Email:



TOAH NNEST are confounded at the recent decision of Justice Ellis to uphold the sentencing decisions of Judge Butler – a 41 year old man who collected pornographic images of child sexual abuse, violation and rape.  We ask why is it our judicial system is able to support the on-going harm of our most vulnerable, our children. We agree with comments made by Warren Ferdinandus, director of anti-child exploitation group Ecpat NZ, who said New Zealanders were “naive” about the child sex trade in places such as Asia and Russia. It came with “a lot of abuse … a lot of rape, a lot of trafficking”

In light of this recent decision Sandz Peipi, TOAH-NNEST spokesperson states “for me it only further supports the recommendation by the Law Commission, that the Judiciary receives specialist training specific to sexual violence. The two Judges comments and decisions are not isolated outcomes. In my opinion these kind of attitudes and decision minimise crimes of sexual violence and contribute to a dismal 3% conviction rate in this country.

We know that harmful sexual behaviour research has reported low recidivism when people have access to sustained specialist support. Either judge had opportunity to require mandated program attendance as a sentencing outcome. The only way to access a program will now be a self-referral to a community program which are very under resourced and have limited in spaces.

For us the impacts of this judicial decision leads to a boarder gap in our countries understandings of sexual violence, underpinned by the story data tells us. Clearly there is a lack of cohesive data being collated, because we are getting a picture of what issues our communities are facing only by way of criminal convictions. So again, are we really doing our very best to prevent sexual violence or are we just minimising our problems and sweeping the very real evidence and need for support under the rug?

Media spokespeople:
Sands Peipi, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga: Telephone: 021 7771832, Email:
Clare Lyons: Tauiwi Caucus Manager: Telephone: 021 633949, Email:
Louise Nicholas: TOAH-NNEST National Survivor Advocate: Telephone: 021326505, Email:

News Source:…


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

We support the recognition deserved and applaud the move from senior ranks and the Defence Forces to develop and implement strategies to deal with sexist cultures and behaviors. Policy changes will enable their people to feel safe about coming forward and will be heard instead of being ordered to speak to commanders or military police etc as per their past processes of dealing with disclosure.

Speaking from TOAH-NNEST National Office, Sandz Peipi, Kaitakawaenga o Nga Kaitiaki Mauri, states: “These strategies are long overdue. It is a shame that this county has somewhat fell behind the rest of the commonwealth with regards to recognition of this.”

In 2013 the Australia government presented outcomes of research they had completed at the CSW Council for women 2013 in New York. In addition to those who have recently completed research and implemented change are Great Britain and Canada in 2015 from within the Commonwealth countries, all three have similar systems, infrastructures and governance and of course are essentially a reflection of the colonisation of Aotearoa with the assertion of common law being the basis of legislation.

There was a time when New Zealand/Aotearoa led the world on change with regards to responding to issues specifically to the violation women and now it would seem that we are a lack lustre 4 in line.  With this in mind, we reiterate, our support of these strategies and invite The Defence Force to collaborate with us in moving forward. Our mission is to enable New Zealand to lead the way again.

Media spokespeople:
Sands Peipi, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga: Telephone: 021 7771832 Email:

Clare Lyons: Tauiwi Caucus Manager: Telephone: 021 633949 Email:

News Source:…


Tuesday 19 January, 2016

A National Network of Sexual Violence Agencies TOAH-NNEST has joined the call from Women’s Refuge to ban a group of American ‘pick-up artists,’ Real Social Dynamics, from coming to New Zealand.

A member of the group, Julian Blanc, was deported from Australia after promoting the choking of women. “Anyone giving ‘dating’ advice that encourages emotional manipulation and physical force goes against our greatest aim of promoting healthy and respectful relationships,” says Claire Lyons, a spokeswoman for TOAH-NNEST.  This national network has more than 60 member agencies providing specialist services for sexual violence prevention and intervention.

Media spokespeople:
Sands Peipi, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga: Telephone:  021 7771832  Email:
Clare Lyons:  Tauiwi Caucus Manager: Telephone:  021 633949 Email:


Tuesday 15 December, 2015

A national network of sexual violence service agencies implores Government to develop an action plan to implement the recommendations from a recently released report into a Justice Response to victims of sexual violence.

“This report has taken four years to be published and is focussed on preventing re-victimisation.  Recommendations of this kind have been heard before,” says Ms Sandz Peipi, National spokesperson for TOAH-NNEST – Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together.

“ We need something to happen now, immediately to help victims and prevent the kind of re-victimisation that can happen to them in the court process.  How long will we have to wait until we see some of the key recommendations enacted in our courts?”

Ms Peipi says an action plan would show that government is ‘putting money where its mouth is’ and provide a level of accountability and timeliness to the recommendations and integrity of the report.

However TOAH-NNEST congratulated Minister Adams for identifying the importance of completing the Law Commission review after this 4 year delay, “we have appreciated the opportunity for TOAH-NNEST and our members to engage with the review and provide our specialist sexual violence voice,” says Ms Peipi.

“We also strongly recommend that government urgently consider the health of our front line services and resourcing that rather than prioritising the creation of a Sexual Violence Commission.  While we agree that a Commission could definitely add value to our work, there are other actions recommended in this report that should take priority in  helping to prevent revictimisation,” says Ms Peipi

Other responses TOAH-NNEST has to this report are:

  1. TOAH-NNEST sees there is an absolute need to align the recommendations from the law commission review with the recent Social Services Committee Report into the funding of specialist sexual violence services. Both documents articulate clear messages and valid pathways Government can utilise to address tackling sexual violence in Aotearoa.
  2. The focus shown on the need for greater research into sexual violence in this country and within Tangata Whenua are applauded
  3. That committed sustainable funding is applied to the sexual violence sector as well as in the area of prevention and is broad enough to cover the diverse groups and issues we serve.
  4. Specialist courts as suggested in the report might work to prevent revictimisation.  However how the court would operate is not outlined.  If there is a pilot court we must ensure that sexual violence sector knowledge is incorporated so that victims have a ‘say’ in what it would look like. Succession planning is also important so that when Judges retire, knowledge is passed on.

TOAH-NNEST believes the current recommendations from the Law Commission are steps in the right direction.  “This report alone will not change our current landscape for victims and communities,” says Ms Peipi.  “We and our members look forward to continuing our relationship with Government and hope this work is included in the Family Violence – Sexual Violence Work Program and anticipated strategy for Government response to sexual violence.”

Media spokespeople: 

Sands Peipi, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri Kaitakawaenga: Telephone:  021 7771832  Email:
Clare Lyons:  Tauiwi Caucus Manager: Telephone:  021 633949 Email:


As a national network of sexual violence agencies, TOAH-NNEST, supports the representatives of the house who took the opportunity to disclose personal experiences of sexual violence. We applaud the courage it took for each member to do so in such an environment.

We invite John Keys to take responsibility for his words “New Zealanders deserve protecting’ acknowledging there are many perpetrators and survivors/victims in our own backyard. Rape and sexual violence is something that many families experience and are impacted by, but as we well know there is limited access to specialist support. We support the Greens call for more government support for victims of sexual violence.

We request that John Key prioritise his Partys’ response to sexual violence as we continue to work with government and ministries to develop the blueprint of what is needed. We encourage all members of cabinet to take this opportunity to increase their understanding of the impact of sexual violence, so as not to make trivialising comments that re-victimise survivors.

Access to services and information is available on our website, click here

Press Release: TOAH-NNEST National Office, Ms Sandz Peipi – 021 771832 Ms Claire Lyons.- 021 633949