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Funding for family violence services through Budget 2020

11 May 2020.

The Government is investing an additional $183 million over the next four years in MSD-funded specialist family violence services for victims/survivors and perpetrators of family violence, including elder abuse.

New Zealand has devastating levels of family violence. This has led to overwhelming demand for specialist family violence services for victims/survivors of family violence (including women, children and older people), and perpetrators of violence.

Current funding for essential specialist family violence services is not adequate to meet costs, does not support safe practice and drives high caseloads, low salaries and unpaid hours for sector specialists and other workers.

In addition, the costs associated with delivering services have increased, including for contracting requirements such as health and safety, accreditation and other social sector workforce development costs.

Government funding has not kept pace with increased costs over the last 10 years. Some additional funding for increasing demand was made available for existing services through Budget 18 – however this did not address cost pressures.

This package sees $183 million over four years to address cost pressures for specialist family violence providers contracted by MSD. This investment aims to ensure continued access to specialist family violence services, and is made up of:

  • $142 million for services supporting victims/survivors of family violence,
  • $16 million for services for perpetrators of family violence, and
  • $25 million for older people impacted by family violence

The additional funding will support current MSD-funded providers to start addressing current cost pressures and to retain, support and develop their valuable staff. This will result in safer working environments for staff and better outcomes for people affected by family violence.

Specialist family violence service providers employ a large number of social workers and workers with equivalent skills and experience. Providers are facing high demand for these valuable staff. The additional funding will, over the next four years, allow them to offer more competitive wages in line with other similar services.

Full breakdown of funding by service type and funding type

The table below illustrates what the family violence services investment over four years intends to support.

This includes cost pressure funding for:

  • Women’s Refuges and other victim’s services
  • services for perpetrators of family violence
  • costs of service design and implementation

New funding by service type and funding type

Service type

Funding type









4 year total


Family Violence victims/survivors

Service delivery






Family Violence Elder Abuse

Service delivery






Family Violence Perpetrators

Service delivery






All Family Violence cost pressure services

Design and Implementation













Please note:

  • this funding through Budget 2020 is to address cost pressures. This is additional funding on top of baseline funding for all of MSD’s family violence services ($34.436 m per year)
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