'Children, child maltreatment and intimate partner violence: Research, policy and practice' conference

This conference was co-hosted by the Families Commission and the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, on Wednesday 5 June 2013 at Te Papa, Wellington. The presentations can be downloaded below.

Opening comments from Belinda Milnes, Chief Commissioner, Families Commission and Janet Fanslow, Co-Director, New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Session 1

Keynote: Jeffrey Edleson

‘Emerging Research, Policy and Practice with Children Exposed to Domestic Violence’

Jeffrey L. Edleson, PhD, is one of the world's leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence. He is Dean and Professor in the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare. He is Professor Emeritus in the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work and founding director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. He has published more than 120 articles and 12 books on domestic violence, group work, and programme evaluation. Dr. Edleson served on the US National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Professor Edleson reviewed some of the research on children’s exposure to adult domestic violence, their involvement in these events and the level of known co-occurring child maltreatment and domestic violence in families. He reviewed recent trends in legislation and programmes responding to these children and their families in the US. He drew on his work with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ guidelines published in Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy & Practice (commonly called the Greenbook) and the federally funded “Greenbook Initiative”.

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 2406 KB)

Note this is an extended version of the presentation given on the day.

Jeffrey Edleson also presented at a seminar ‘Parenting in the context of domestic violence’ in Auckland on 4 June 2013.

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 924 KB)

Note this is an extended version of the presentation given on the day.

Jeffrey Edleson spoke on 'How domestic violence affects parenting and children' for Radio New Zealand's ‘Nine to Noon’ programme on 6 June 2013. Listen to the interview here.


Paul Nixon

Paul Nixon is Chief Social Worker for Child, Youth and Family, in the Ministry of Social Development. Paul is originally from the UK and has worked for more than 20 years in Child Welfare and protection, always in a statutory setting. Paul and his family, Nici, Carys, Haydn and Rhianna and Murphy their dog live in Wellington. Paul has always been interested and inspired by practice and innovations from New Zealand, particularly Family Group Conferences, Restorative Justice, and Whanau / Kinship Care. Previously Paul was Head of Social Work services in North Yorkshire, England. Paul has written a number of books on Social Work and numerous articles and chapters. He has provided training and consultancy on Social Work around the world.

No Powerpoint presentation

Ngaropi Cameron

Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa
NZRN, Registered Whānau/Hapū/Iwi Practitioner – Te Awhi Pa, Member NZAC

Ngaropi has worked in the social service area in a variety of environs for over 25 years. Throughout this time she has been involved in numerous local and national community development projects implementing a variety of kaupapa Māori services, trainings and resources. She is the foundation member, Chief Executive and Senior Domestic Violence Programme Facilitator and Educator of Tu Tama Wahine O Taranaki, and Taranaki executive member rep on Te Kahui Rongoa Trust. She is a former member of the Ministry of Justice Domestic Violence Programme Approvals Panel 2002 – 2005 and co-opted member 2008 – 2011, former executive board member and deputy chair of Jigsaw and a former member of the Māori Reference Group to the National Taskforce on Family Violence. 

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 193 KB)

Download notes (Word  167 KB)

Session 2

Keynote: Di Grennell

Ngāi Tahu, Ngai Mutunga o Wharekurī

‘Aroha in Action – Whānau Transformation’

Di is the Director, Operations in the Whānau & Social Policy Wāhanga at Te Puni Kōkiri National Office. Formerly a member of the Taskforce on Whānau – Centred Initiatives, Di is working with her team to support Whānau Ora Implementation. Di has a particular interest in strategies for social change. In addition to her work with the Amokura Family Violence Prevention Consortium in Tai Tokerau, Di’s background includes provider development, education, community research and working with tai tamariki. Di is a mother, step-mother, and ‘Nana Di’ to six mokopuna. She and her husband Witi Ashby live in Wellington.

‘Mokopuna hold the wisdom of the world and they can teach us the power of unconditional love. They remind us how each one of us began and they are our connection to our tūpuna and to our future. The centre of their world is their whānau and they learn from us. When we love them they learn to love, when we respond to their needs they learn to respond to others, when we are peaceful then peace flow through them. Everything they learn they learn from us.’ (Aroha in Action – a resource for Whānau, Di Grennell)

Whānau Ora asserts the importance of a whānau-centred approach to service delivery, but the real promise of a Whānau Ora approach is in viewing whānau as change agents, and whānau transformation as possible. How do we build cohesive, resilient and nurturing whānau?

Di shared some learnings, challenges, and opportunities that present when addressing issues of violence and abuse through whole of whānau approaches.

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 908 KB)


To'alepai Jacqueline Louise Ella (Louella) Thomsen-Inder

To’alepai has a background of 15 years in health and 10 years in social work. She is a Registered Social Worker and has a professional focus on alternative non violent parenting and children witnessing family violence with Pacific families. She delivers frontline family violence services holistically to Pacific families and provides training and cultural input as a consultant in clinical and cultural interventions. She works at Pacific Island Evaluation and is the only accredited female and Pacific Trauma Counsellor in Christchurch. To’alepai has been on the Domestic Violence Approval Panel for 6 years and provides expertise on Children’s Programs. She is also a member of Canterbury Response to Sexual Violence and the Steering Group for Canterbury District Health Board Family Violence-Partner Abuse. To’alepai was born in Samoa and educated in Samoa and New Zealand. She is a matai (high chief) from Salavalu, Savaii. 

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 331 KB)

Mike Cagney

Mike has worked for 30 years in domestic violence programmes, sex offender treatment programmes and statutory child protection work, in the roles of social worker, therapist and service manager. He has an academic background in social work and counselling and regularly provides training in therapy and family work with people who harm others. Mike is an Approved Provider of DV Programmes, an Approved Family Court Counsellor and currently works in private practice in Porirua and the Kapiti Coast.

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 144 KB)

Session 3

Keynote: Sudha Shetty

‘Lost in translation’

Sudha Shetty is a lawyer by training. She has spoken and written extensively on domestic violence issues facing immigrant women and women of colour. She developed a variety of legal access projects focused on battered women in her role as Director of the Seattle University Law School's Access to Justice Institute. She was also a founding member and chair of Chaya, a grass-roots South Asian domestic violence prevention program in Seattle. She is currently Assistant Dean for International Partnerships and Alliances at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley.

Sudha Shetty spoke about immigrant women and child custody issues for mothers who have experienced intimate partner violence.

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 338 KB)

Sudha Shetty also spoke at a lunchtime event jointly hosted by the Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs on Thursday 6 June.


Catriona Doyle

Catriona Doyle is the director of Family Law Specialists based in Porirua. She has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer specialising in providing advice and advocacy on a full range of family law matters including protection, child care, adoption, surrogacy and property. She is regularly appointed by the Family Court to represent children and is appointed in Hague Convention cases.

Catriona is the Deputy Chair of the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society. Last year she presented papers at the Women’s Refuge Conference and Lexis Nexis Property Masterclass about the proposed changes to the Family Court and the likely impact of those proposed changes on Family Court users, particularly women and children. Catriona has been appointed a member of the recently formed Legal Services Advisory Board, set up by the Minister of Justice to provide high level and strategic advice on the legal aid system.

No Powerpoint presentation

Shasha Ali

Shasha Ali is International Development Coordinator and Advisor for Youth Services at Shakti Community Council Inc. With a background in Women’s Studies and Sociology, Shasha has a huge passion for vulnerable youth and child abuse issues from within immigrant and refugee backgrounds as an advocate on forced, servile and child marriage and honour-based violence affecting young women and girls from Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultural origins. Shasha was an integral part of a team that established Shakti Youth services focused on family violence prevention and advocacy on violence against children and youth. Shasha represented New Zealand NGO delegation at the 52nd UN CEDAW Session and represented Shakti New Zealand upon invitation to speak at the Australian Government Roundtable on People Trafficking, Slavery and Slave-Like Conditions.

No Powerpoint presentation

Sudha Shetty and Jeffrey Edleson

‘Seeking Safety Across Borders: Battered Women’s Experiences with the Hague Convention in American Courts’

Download Powerpoint presentation (PDF, 744 KB)


Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson (Te Rarawa/Ngāpuhi/Ngāti Porou) is a social justice and human rights advocate based in Auckland. Her background includes ten years working for the Human Rights Commission ‘out in the paddock’ as an Advisor. Marama’s focus while at the Commission included working with children and young people who were often at risk of having their human rights abused. Marama left the Commission in December 2012 to concentrate on her work as part of Te Wharepora Hou – a Māori women’s collective that she helped establish in 2010. Te Wharepora Hou strives to have a voice on all issues impacting on the wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi. In February 2013 Marama was appointed to the Think Tank for the Glenn Inquiry on child abuse and domestic violence. Marama is currently privileged to be on the interview hearings to gather the stories from people who are dealing with domestic violence in their lives or as front-line workers.