Tauranga is well known for its beautiful beaches and good climate that attracts retirees and cashed up Aucklanders. What is less well known is the poverty, family violence and child abuse that is far more common than most locals would realise.
The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Poto Williams, launched five SociaLink research reports, a video about the impact and prevalence of family harm locally and an art installation graphically depicting family violence on Friday 16 August 2019.
Some of the alarming statistics include:
- The Tauranga Oranga Tamariki office had the highest number of child abuse and family violence notification of any office in New Zealand in 2017
- There has been a 26% increase in child buse and family violence notifications from 2013 to 2017
- There are 13 reports of family harm everyday in the western Bay of Plenty, taking into account under reporting this would be 52 reports every day if all family harm events were reported
- 17% of western Bay of Plenty residents are highly stressed by their personal finances, for Māori that rises to 25-30%
- 500 food parcels were distributed in Tauranga in 2018, 25% to low income earners.
Whilst we have a resourceful social sector delivering essential services to those most vulnerable in our community, they are stretched and under stress. Many organisations have waiting lists where people, particularly children and families, can be waiting up to 2 years for services such as speech therapy, mental health services etc.