Paula Bennett takes sexual violence sector role

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 09:48 22/02/2013

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Senior minister Paula Bennett has taken over ministerial responsibility for the sexual violence sector.

The responsibility has previously been split between several government ministers.

Wellington Rape Crisis welcomed the move.

Agency manager Natalie Gousmett said having one minister accountable for the sector was something they had been asking for.

"It is a great relief to see some concrete action being taken by Government to support a sector that is falling to its knees because of lack of sustainable and consistent funding."

She hoped Bennett would be able to address the "chronic underfunding" of services.

"We provide extremely effective and efficient services that benefit the whole community.  It would be a tragedy if that service were no longer available to people in the Wellington region.

''We know that sexual violence costs the Government billions, so improved support to specialist services provides savings for everyone."

Gousmett said she would also like to see a dedicated government agency to oversee and support the sexual violence sector.

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