Family Harm Conference 2021


22 - 23 JULY 2021



08:30am Registrations, tea, coffee, networking

09:30am Karakia: Mary-Anne Tipa

09:40am Welcome: Gary Kircher, Waitaki District Mayor

09:45am Plenary Session: People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care

Ranjna Patel, ONZM, QSM, JP; Founder Gandhi Nivas

Family Harm is a subject that people rarely admit to. They suffer in silence, and tolerate or normalise the situation. It is so important to provide an environment that will allow the ability to share. Gandhi Nivas allows the perpetrators and victims to be heard, and then find solutions and tools to deal with the ‘next time’.

11:00am Morning tea

11:30am Workshop Option 1: Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke ki Ōtepoti

Sergeant Jaime Irving
Amanda Durham, Kaiawhina - Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke ki Ōtepoti
Dana Te Kanawa

This workshop will look at the impact that Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke has had on family harm in Dunedin and highlight the value of community collaboration in response to family harm.

Workshop Option 2: Family Dispute Resolution

Marian Shore, Let's Talk

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a mediation service run through the Family Court that helps separated or separating couples agree on care and contact arrangements which are in the best interests of their children and work for both parties. FDR can also be valuable for mediating care and contact arrangements with grandparents and guardians of children. A mediated agreement is more likely to be resilient over time and avoids lawyers’ costs and Family Court hearings. Through FDR a Parenting Agreement is developed which can then be lodged with the Family Court to create a Parenting Order.

12:30pm Lunch

13:30pm Plenary Session: Tick Tick Boom

Lisa Scott, Author, Columnist, Communications Professional

When you emerge from an abusive relationship, there’s the temptation to think that you’re done with all the drama and feeling stink about yourself. However, a residue of the toxicity can remain, a kind of slow rot that, if not addressed, can go on to poison subsequent relationships. Post abusive relationship PTSD symptoms such as a lack of trust and a fight, flight or freeze reaction triggered by a phrase or situation are like landmines lying in wait along the path to happiness. Time to call in bomb disposal.

14:00pm Plenary Session: Inconvenient Truths

Nigel Latta

Nigel will talk about psychological abuse and women as perpetrators.

15:00pm Break

15:15pm Workshop Option 1: Whānau Toolkit

Erin Scarlett O’Neill, Director / Founder, Brave Hearts NZ
Jean Proctor, Community Support and Development Advisor, Clutha District Council

A template for families that provides them with a plan relevant to their own situation. This gives them purpose and a focus on what they can do to protect themselves, which in turn can create a shift in the addicted family members.

Workshop Option 2: Pasifika Community Family Harm Initiatives

Siesina Latu (Sina), General Manager, Tongan Society South Canterbury Inc, Registered Social Worker

This workshop showcases how the Tongan Society South Canterbury (TSSC) has taken 3 key perspectives to look at and address issues of Family Harm, Addictions and Mental Health. A changing landscape for our people. These are: Tongan Cultural Perspective, NZ Diversity Perspective and Community Development Perspectives. The workshop addresses the careful choice of Family Centred Programmes currently run by the TSSC that assist the successful wellbeing and inclusion of our Tongan people in our communities. All programmes are action based, inclusive and both culturally & age appropriate. Key words for us are Practical, Respect, Relationships, Humbleness and Commitment. One of our important vision is, For our fanau (children) and famili/kainga (families) to live in a loving home that is safe and free from any forms of Violence & Harm.

16:15pm Plenary Session: Health Reforms, Locality Networks And The Implications On The Waitaki

Gilbert Taurua, Southern District Health Board, Chief Māori Health Strategy & Improvement Officer

This plenary session will look at the Health and Disability System Review, the subsequent health reforms under the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Transition Unit and then will take a look at what are being called community wellbeing networks or localities. The presentation will then look at what this means for the Waitaki District, it will propose some key features for a planned local wellbeing network and then consider the potential opportunities on how these networks could better respond to family/whānau harm in the Waitaki.

17:00pm Reflections on the day

17:05pm Karakia


09:00am Welcome

09:05am Karakia

09:15am Plenary Session: A Walk on the Dark Side of New Zealand

Sir / Tā Mark Solomon

Sir / Tā Mark will talk to his experiences in the areas of family violence and sexual abuse

10:30am Morning tea

11:00am Workshop Option 1: Shifting the Lens: To Early Intervention In Family Harm Prevention

Ranjna Patel, ONZM, QSM, JP; Founder Gandhi Nivas
Sucharita Varma, Director, Sahaayta Counselling & Social Suppor

The 2011 Police Safety Orders (PSO) formative evaluation by Kingi, Roguski and Mossman of the Crime and Justice Research Centre, Victoria University, Wellington stated “there was little, if any, support available for bound individuals. The issuing of a PSO presents the opportunity for the provision of services to this group; at the very least assistance with temporary accommodation should be available. In relation to persons at risk, it is clear that sometimes contact from a support agency does not happen until after the PSO has expired…”

This was followed by the Owen Glen anti-family violence enquiry in 2014 that stated, “there is a need for supportive housing. With the introduction of Police Safety Orders, they can be ordered to leave their home / address for up to five days. Currently, there is little support for those who have been ordered to leave their home. This is believed to be a missed opportunity to provide an intervention to possible family violence perpetrators. There is also a need, beyond Police Safety Orders, for male perpetrators of family violence to have an opportunity to address their violence, away from their families and communities whilst ensuring the safety of their families….as currently the responsibility is with the victim to move into a refuge or away from the home.

The report was released the day Gandhi Nivas, a community collaborative initiative opened doors in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. 3523 families have been supported through the initiative with a 60% non-recidivism rate for the almost 900 men that were included in the research.

The workshop focuses on understanding the model and exploring how that can be adapted to regions outside of Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.

Workshop Option 2: Whānau Toolkit

Erin Scarlett O’Neill, Director / Founder, Brave Hearts NZ
Jean Proctor, Community Support and Development Advisor, Clutha District Council

A template for families that provides them with a plan relevant to their own situation. This gives them purpose and a focus on what they can do to protect themselves, which in turn can create a shift in the addicted family members.

12:00pm Plenary Session: It Takes A Village To Raise And Protect A Child

Holika Uhila, General Manager Pacific, Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children

A Pacific child or young person should be viewed in the context of their wider fanau and village, or in the New Zealand context their whānau, hapū and iwi. Pacific children are two and a half times more likely to be physically punished than non-Pacific children. This means we have a responsibility to bolster preventative services to stop violence happening in the first place, as well as implementing wrap-around services for those using violence, to stop.

13:15pm Closing, Farewell, Karakia


Ranjna Patel, ONZM, QSM, JP

Six years ago, Ranjna went looking for a solution to New Zealand’s greatest shame – family violence. Police were concerned about domestic violence in the Indian community and asked Ranjna for help. Ranjna went one better. She did her research, studied hard, and then developed an untested approach to address the horror going on in some of our homes.

Instead of removing women and children from a violent situation in the family home, Ranjna asked police to remove the man – and bring him to an emergency accommodation that she would provide. Ranjna believed that in order to address family violence and domestic harm, you have to work with those who perpetrate it. And from that foundation idea, the Gandhi Nivas program was born.

There are now three Gandhi Nivas homes in Auckland. Each home offers emergency accommodation to men who have been issued with a Police Safety Order. The homes are staffed 24/7 by psychologists/ Counsellors or Social workers, who engage with the perpetrator in a program of counselling and ultimately behavioral change, while offering a full wrap-around counselling and support service to the man’s whānau. Gandhi Nivas is a partnership with Sahaayta Counselling services and NZ Police.

Lisa Scott, Author, Columnist, Communications Professional

Lisa Scott is an author, columnist and communications professional who lives in Waitaki. Her regular column Tales from the Powder Room has appeared in the Otago Daily Times since 2009 and she has won several awards for her writing including Lifestyle Journalist of the Year and Travel Writer of the Year. The outdoors is her happy place.

Nigel Latta

Nigel trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked for over two decades in the areas of forensic psychology and family therapy.

In 2010, as a result of his passion for science and science education, Nigel was invited to become an associate of the world leading Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study at the University of Otago. In 2012 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to psychology.

He’s written eight books which have now been published in 19 countries and 10 languages.

His television career has spanned almost a decade and he’s presented a number of series including Beyond the Darklands, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, On Thin Ice: Nigel Latta in Antarctica, and The Hard Stuff. In 2016, along with Arwen O’Connor and Mitchell Hawkes he co-founded a production company, Ruckus, and the team have since made numerous primetime television series including Mind Over Money, What Next, and The Curious Mind. In 2018 Ruckus was named New Zealand’s Hottest Production Company in the StopPress awards.

In late 2018, having decided it was time for something a bit different, Nigel and his partner Neela Hatangadi co-founded a tech startup to build a revolutionary parenting app.

Gilbert Taurua - Chief Māori Health Strategy and Improvement Officer

Gilbert Taurua has a BA (Hons) and Graduate Dip Social Work, University of Canterbury. He has 30 plus years’ experience working across the broader health, social services, education and justice sectors. Gilbert has worked extensively within the Māori health sector and has worked in the alcohol and drug area, including mental health. He has significant governance experience, including policy, practice, research and evaluation. Prior to working for Southern DHB he was the Principal Adviser for the New Zealand Drug Foundation. He’s currently employed with the Southern DHB and the WellSouth Primary Health Network and holds responsibilities for Māori health, equity and mental health, addiction and intellectual disability.

Sir Tā Mark Solomon

Tā Mark Solomon is committed to the betterment of his iwi, kotahitanga for Māori and the wider well-being of people and the environment. He is a strong advocate for the Māori economy and was instrumental in setting up the Iwi Chairs Forum (2005). He was elected Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu from 1998 to December 2016.

Of Ngāi Tahu and Ngati Kuri descent, Tā Mark’s contribution to his community has been diverse and significant, ranging from roles as a school board Trustee, to a past board member of the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa). Tā Mark attributes his wider whānau (family) for early guidance and it is this experience that has driven his passion for encouraging education and also opportunities for young Māori. He is patron of He Toki ki te Rika, a Christchurch-based Māori pre-trade training programme, and the related He Toki ki te Mahi, an apprenticeship initiative, both born from the Christchurch earthquake rebuild. He believes young Māori should strive for formal training to maximise their talents and to be the best they can be.

In 2013 he was awarded Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and Business. In April 2015 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Lincoln University as Doctor of Natural Resources, recognising his enduring interest and concern for our natural environment.

Tā Mark currently holds a number of governance roles including: Interim Te Ropu; The National Science Challenge for Sustainable Seas and Deep South; Te Ohu Kaimoana; Pure Advantage; Seed NZ Charitable Trust; QuakeCore; Ngati Ruanui Holdings; Māori Carbon Foundation Ltd and Māori Carbon Planting Ltd. He was an original member of the Minister for Māori Affairs Māori Economic Taskforce, established in 2009. Tā Mark was also Deputy Chair of the CDHB from 2016 - 2019.

Tā Mark believes a true Rangatira is a servant of the people, a fact underpinned by his core philosophy of ‘strength with humility’. Whilst the commercial success of Ngāi Tahu is acknowledged, Tā Mark is especially proud of the tribes achievements in education and the development of the Iwi’s savings scheme Whai Rawa. Tā Mark is a committed advocate for the sanctity of Whānau and takes a strong stance against Whānau violence.

Holika Uhila, General Manager Pacific, Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children

Holika was born in Holonga, Vava’u, Tongatapu, and at four years of age was adopted to live with his extended fanau (family) in Fiji. Holika is a fluent speaker of the Tongan language.

Holika is the general manager of the Pacific Team. Holika started his career as a social worker for Oranga Tamariki, working as a care and protection practitioner prior to finding his niche in the role of a youth justice social worker. Not long after, he was successfully appointed to senior roles within the organisation.

In 2013, Holika resigned from Oranga Tamariki to undertake a private internship programme with the Venn Foundation. This programme led to his successful appointment with The Warehouse Group to develop its social media platform across The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7, and The Warehouse Stationery. After several months, he became a Community Liaison Consultant for a private tertiary provider.

In December 2017, Holika returned to Oranga Tamariki and has led the implementation of the Pacific Strategy 2018-2021, developed a high-level Pacific Dashboard, introduced a world leading Pacific cultural app-Talanoa Mai, supporting Pacific collectives across the regions, strengthening Pacific provider engagement, providing policy advice to the Minister, and having oversight to the Pacific Team and the Pacific Panel.

Amanda Durham, Kaiawhina – Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke ki Ōtepoti

Ko Ngäti Hine taku Iwi

Ko Amanda (Mandy) Durham taku ingoa.

Amanda is a Mumma of five and a Nanny to four beautiful mokopuna, they keep her really busy but that’s ok because she gets to escape to mahi she loves.

Amanda has been working in the family harm space for 17 years, primarily with victims of family violence. She moved from Women’s Refuge in 2019 to join Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke ki Ōtepoti Police Family Harm Team. Amanda has the privilege of facilitating the daily Safety Assessment Meetings (SAM) and gets to work with amazing people who represent key supports in our community that support our whānau. She looks forward to chatting with you all more about the wonderful world of collaboration.

Sergeant Jaime Irving, NZ Police

Jaime has been in the Police 10 years and is really passionate about her current role in Whāngaia ngā Pā Harekeke ki Ōtepoti and the partnerships within community and Iwi. She currently holds the role of Sergeant within the Police. Jaime has worked in West Auckland, Nelson and Dunedin and has a husband, a 2-year-old son, and is expecting a new addition to the family in early October.

Dana Te Kanawa

Ko Aoraki te Mauka

Ko Waitaki te awa

Ko Takitimu te waka

Ko Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe, me Waitaha ka iwi

Ko Ōtākou me Puketeraki ka marae

Ko Dana Te Kanawa ahau

Dana is a busy Māmā of three tamariki alongside her husband Derek, as well balancing many roles within the community and for her iwi outside of her work life.

Dana has been working in whānau resilience and wellbeing in Ōtepoti for the past 4 years as part of the Whānau Centred Services team at Te Hou Ora, and in the last year has been part of the team at Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke (WNPH) with A3Kaitiaki working as a Whānau Resilience co-designer for WNPH. She brings knowledge and connection within the Ōtepoti community and has had varied roles that have always had a focus on people, wellbeing, and community. Dana is passionate about recognising that resilience and wellbeing is different for each whānau and working in partnership with Whānau, iwi and between organisations is key to positive outcomes and valued by the team at WNPH.

Marian Shore, Family Dispute Resolution, Let's Talk

Marian has extensive experience in Restorative Justice and conflict resolution mediation including Family Dispute Resolution.

Marian is competent working with marginalised people and those who suffer from compromised mental wellbeing and/or have experienced family violence. She enjoys supporting people to have productive conversations which enable a positive and resilient outcome. Her mediation work has included working with community organisations, workplace disputes, families where there is conflict over the care of an elder relative, and relationship property. She specialises in family violence cases.

Marian is a Resolution Institute accredited mediator and Restorative Justice facilitator.

Erin Scarlett O’Neill, Founder & Executive Director of Brave Hearts NZ, Registered Charity

Erin is the mother of two sons, one of whom has struggled with an addiction to methamphetamine. Because of this experience she is passionate about supporting other families in similar situations by providing education, advocacy and support through phone calls, individual family sessions, seminars and group meetings currently held in Bay of Plenty, Hamilton, Manukau, Nelson, Motueka and Clutha.

Originally from Auckland, with a background in business ownership, events and marketing, Erin is working full time on Brave Hearts in Tauranga. Her role comprises everything from phone answering, engaging speakers/facilitators for meetings, individual peer support sessions and public speaking – telling the story of a family journey – reducing stigma and giving hope.

Jean Proctor, Community Support and Development Advisor, Clutha District Council

Jean has extensive experience of working for the community and has been in her current role for 8 years. This role supports a variety of community groups, not-for-profit training and manages council grant funding with a key responsibility being the facilitation of the Clutha District Youth Council to deliver projects, activities and tackle issues that impact on the wellbeing of the district.

A most significant Youth Council Project has been the Methamphetamine Awareness Campaign to highlight damaging impacts of substance use. Initiated in 2018, the campaign which was led by Jean, has included speaking presentations to secondary schools and community, awareness raising events and a current billboard campaign delivering the message “Not Even Once “. The campaign identified the desperate need for support for families of addicts. This resulted in Jean working with impacted families and Erin O’Neill to establish a Brave Hearts NZ Clutha branch.

Siesina Latu (Sina), General Manager, Tongan Society South Canterbury Inc, Registered Social Worker

Sina was born in Tonga, she moved to NZ in 2005 with 5 children to join her husband who was playing for Celtic Rugby Club, Timaru. They lived in Japan for 5 years before moving to NZ. When Sina moved to Timaru, where Tongan and Pasifika were hardly seen, she had to explore and discover everything on her own and also had visa restrictions. These were stressful and fearful times.

Residency was granted in 2009 and Sina wanted the knowledge and skills to advocate for her people so others could have an easier time than her family did when settling into New Zealand. She studied Social Work and worked 2 jobs while looking after her family and she graduated from University of Otago in 2013 with a Bachelor in Social Work.

Sina is currently working for Oranga Tamariki as a Youth Justice Social Worker. She is a founding member of the TSSC (2016), she is the former President but now the general manager of TSSC. Sina sits on a few Boards and she is the Hou’eiki (chief) of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in Timaru.

Sucharita Varma, Director, Sahaayta Counselling & Social Support

Sucharita has worked in the social services sector for the past 12 years and has established Sahaayta counselling and social support in Counties Manukau in 2013. She comes from a counselling background and is responsible for creating the model and providing oversight for the service delivery for Gandhi Nivas Programme. Sucharita comes from Hyderabad in Southern India and migrated to New Zealand in 2001. She is a proud Manurewa girl and lives with her 2 human and one canine children. Sucharita is passionate about working with families, especially from migrant and former refugee backgrounds. She is particularly interested in family counselling where she uses a holistic approach in her work with her clients.