top of page


Sexual violence workforce capability framework

Eliminating sexual violence in Aotearoa will require a workforce that can respond to the needs of our widely varying communities. We need teams of specialist and general workers, as well as informal community networks that can provide safe, appropriate and effective responses to sexual violence in order to ensure protection, accountability, healing and restoration across a range of diverse communities.


One of the primary challenges already expressed is that there too few people with the necessary tools to provide the right kind of help. We need different groups of people with core competencies. People who can work in preventing sexual violence, people who can guide whānau and families along their own journeys of healing, and people who can respond appropriately to disclosures of both experiences of sexual violence as well as harmful behaviour or ideations of harmful behaviour.

These different groups of people include:

  • Skilled sexual violence specialists who have the skills and cultural competence in providing responses that meet the diverse range of people’s needs, in healing or in preventing violence

  • Workers in government and community generalist services who know how to identify if someone needs help, how to take action safely, and how to connect to specialist services if needed

  • People in informal networks including workplaces, marae, faith organisations, sports groups, friends, family and whānau who can respond to, heal and prevent sexual violence

  • Specialists, generalists, and informal community networks, all require the opportunity to share and lead in the competencies in which they are strong, and the resources and tools to upskill in the competencies in which they struggle. To create opportunities to share, lead, and upskill, the organisations which hold these groups of people need policies and practices that support effective, consistent responses.

Life cycle registration

We recognise that system-wide changes are required. Frameworks are tools that can co-ordinate collaborative efforts between agencies of the New Zealand government, specialist NGO organisations, informal community networks, whānau, and families. Frameworks can do this by providing a shared understanding of how we can all contribute to providing meaningful, appropriate solutions.  

Part of the process of collaboration and creating shared understanding is finding ways to communicate between the parties in ways that are accessible for all. This can be a complex negotiation of values, implicit meanings, and historical experience. However, the overwhelming need to address and eliminate sexual violence from Aotearoa is such that engaging with such complexity is an endeavour we must undertake. 

Life cycle registration

The document we are developing is a capability framework; this is different to a competency framework. Where a competency framework sets the minimum standards of competence, a capability framework sets out how individuals and organisations can adapt, grow and continuously improve to achieve the highest standards of practice

Life cycle registration

In 2018 the Joint Venture was formed. The purpose of the Joint Venture was to improve the whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. In 2022, the Joint Venture became Te Puna Aonui, an Interdepartmental Executive Board under the Public Service Act 2020. Te Puna Aonui agencies are responsible for implementing Te Aorerekura: The National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence1. Together, we:


  • provide whole-of-government strategy, policy, and budgeting advice to Ministers on eliminating family violence and sexual violence•    

  • provide analysis and evidence to support Ministers to make decisions on specific interventions

  • provide Ministers with an oversight of interventions and outcomes within the whole family violence and sexual violence sector, and identify any linkages, gaps, or opportunities

  • monitor, support, and coordinate implementation of Te Aorerekura, and other priority and cross-agency initiatives

  • manage relationships between government and the family violence and sexual violence sectors  

Te Aorerekura identifies six primary changes, or shifts, that need to occur in Aotearoa to eliminate family violence and sexual violence. Each shift is interconnected, but they are also dependent on wider changes across Aotearoa New Zealand that will help address the drivers of violence. The six shifts are: 

  • Shift One: Towards strength-based wellbeing

  • Shift Two: Towards mobilising communities

  • Shift Three: Towards skilled, culturally competent, and sustainable workforces

  • Shift Four: Towards investment in primary prevention

  • Shift Five: Towards safe, accessible, and integrated responses

  • Shift Six: Towards increased capacity for healing

  • Learning and monitoring progress

Access a complete copy of Te Aorerekura

Life cycle registration

Version 0 of the Kaupapa Māori Sexual Violence Workforce Capability Framework was designed with the guidance and approval of Whaea Joy Te Wiata and Whaea Here Pierce of Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri, TOAH-NNEST. Te Ohaakii a Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST). TOAH-NNEST is the national network of those providing specialist services for sexual violence prevention and intervention.  TOAH-NNEST represent about 40 specialist not for profit organisations (NGOs) and many individual specialists working throughout Aotearoa New Zealand in whanau/ families, hapu, iwi and communities.

It also has associate members from a wide range of allied NGOs. TOAH-NNEST’s vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to be free of sexual violence. Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri is the Kaupapa Māori governing whare of TOAH-NNEST. They have adopted intrinsic Māori values to demonstrate the value placed on Māori whānau through the mana and tapū of whakapapa as Tangata Whenua. With the support of kaumatua and whanau, Nga Kaitiaki Mauri have prioritised the importance of acknowledging our atua wahine and tane by adopted nine values that emerged from Te Ohākī a Hine. Version 0 of the Kaupapa Māori framework is organised by these nine pou:

  • Mātauranga Māori: A body of traditional Māori knowledge

  • Wairuatanga: Recognition of the spiritual dimension

  • Hauoratanga: Health and wellbeing

  • Whanaungatanga: The inter-relationship of Māori with their ancestors, their whānau, hapū, iwi as well as the natural resources within their tribal boundaries such as mountains, rivers, streams and forests; recognition of relationships iwi and waka 

  • Pukengatanga: Teaching, preserving and creating Māori knowledge; skills, talents

  • Manaakitanga: Respect; hospitality; kindness; entertain; care for

  • Rangatiratanga: Self-determination, autonomy, the right of Māori to be self-determining

  • Ukaipotanga: Recognition of origins

  • Kaitiakitanga: Guardianship; cultural and financial guardianship; accountability

Version 0 of the Tangata Tiriti Sexual Violence Workforce Capability Framework has been designed to stand alongside the already released Family Violence E2E Workforce Capability Framework. As such, it is organised by the same principles which have been developed from several sources including: 


  1. Massey University Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) report (2021), which summarises the findings of over 200 in-depth interviews with members of diverse communities and family violence and sexual violence

  2. Te Hau Tangata: The sacred breath of humanity, The National Strategy for Eliminating Violence (2018). A report created by a distinct Māori body, Interim Te Rōpu, and the Joint Venture Agency – which later became Te Aorerekura.

The mahi of these documents shows that a system that responds appropriately to sexual violence must draw upon the insights and lived experience of whānau, families, and communities affected by violence.  The absence of thinking about colonisation, racism and discrimination has contributed to the ineffectiveness of the system. System-wide changes are required such as: 

  • Government, whānau, families and communities partnering with an emphasis on primary prevention

  • Appropriate resourcing including capacity building of whānau, families and communities

  • Autonomous decision-making made by whānau, families and communities most affected

  • Solutions reflect the aspirations of whānau, families and communities

  • Parallel responses are needed to simultaneously address context and specific forms of violence


From these recommendations the following principles were crafted

  • Kotahitanga - Relationships and Inclusion: Organisations and workers are committed to equitable, accessible and inclusive opportunities and practices for all individuals, groups and communities while honouring tangata whenua as the indigenous people of Aotearoa 

  • Kaitiakitanga - Protection and Accountability: Specialist organisations and workers focus on increasing the safety of people who are impacted by sexual violence, on reducing the possibility of further harm, and on holding accountable the people who use sexual violence 

  • Mahi Tahi - Collaboration and Advocacy: Organisations and workers challenge systemic, social and cultural factors that enable sexual violence to exist in Aotearoa New Zealand and work actively with others to create safety strategies and connections for people impacted by sexual violence 

  • Ora - Wellbeing and Restoration: Organisations and workers provide a holistic approach shaped by and reflecting the aspirations of all people 

  • Koi Mahi: - Innovation and Learning: Organisations and workers engage in growing practice knowledge and are responsive to new approaches to end violence 

bottom of page