A letter released by the Green Party shows that Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia was briefed on the problems with Te Roopu Whakaruruhau O Nga Wahine Maori, in apparent contradiction of her public statements.
"It appears Tariana Turia was wrong to say she was unaware of problems at a Women's Refuge because we now know she met with the Woman's Refuge national collective on the situation and subsequently received correspondence from them confirming the nature of their conversation," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
"The letter from the Women's Refuge national collective clearly sets out the nature of the conversation with Mrs Turia regarding Te Roopu Whakaruruhau O Nga Wahine M?ori.
"This new evidence raises serious questions about her statements to date, her ministerial oversight, and the Government's commitment to the safety of vulnerable women and children.
"Mrs Turia has blamed her officials and must give them an unequivocal apology.
"The buck stops with the Minister. It is inappropriate to point the finger at the National Collective of Women's' Refuges for what is a Government accountability problem.
"Mrs Turia's refusal to take responsibility for the concerns raised by Women's Refuge reveals a serious accountability gap in the monitoring of funding for family violence services.
"Mrs Turia must now urgently investigate the funding model for refuges, ensure all family violence funding is adequate and that all contracts are adequately monitored.
"Refuges do an enormously difficult job supporting women and children leaving frightening and violent situations.
"They operate on tenterhooks as they rely on Government funding, which at best is precarious, and at worst is grossly insufficient to protect all the women and children who need them."
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