First national violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people launched

Atu-Mai, New Zealand’s first national violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people was launched in Auckland on Wednesday July 4 by ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to be delivered by innovative Pasifika organisation Le Va.



ACC says the purpose of the programme is to address the high rates of family violence and sexual harm experienced by Pasifika young people, alongside low reporting behaviour and disproportionately low access rates to existing health and social services.


“Seventy-six per cent of violence is not reported. Low reporting of violence limits our understanding of harm in communities and can mask the extent of the problem.


We know that there are cultural factors that contribute to low access to help for Pasifika young people,” says ACC’s acting chief customer officer, Emma Powell.


Le Va’s research over two years has identified the underlying conditions, risk factors and protective factors for violence, that are unique to Pasifika young people and different from the risk factors for the general New Zealand population.


Chief executive for Le Va Dr Monique Faleafa says violence can scar the lives of individuals and families for decades.


"When our young Pasifika people are exposed to violence, they are at increased risk of a range of behavioural, physical, emotional and mental health problems, including being at higher risk of suicide and a victim and or an offender of further violence.


"This new service is a violence prevention programme that supports Pasifika young people to be confident and resilient, and experience healthy family and social relationships."





“Atu-Mai will focus on enhancing factors that provide protection from violence and reduce the likelihood of being a victim or offender of violence in the first place.


“We want to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge and tools to live free from violence and sexual harm. Atu-Mai is not a campaign, we’re taking an educational focus and skills-based approach aiming for behavioural change across generations,” says Dr Faleafa.


Le Va will work with ACC, Pasifika young people, community groups, their expert advisory group and other organisations to ensure a coordinated approach.


“We know that we all need to take collective responsibility and work together to tackle this challenge head on, and we’ll be complementing existing programmes and reinforcing support services to ensure prevention at all levels” says Dr Faleafa.


Atu-Mai will be measured and evaluated over time to ensure the desired outcomes are met.


Le Va is a Pasifika organisation that specialises in Pasifika youth mental health and wellbeing. Le Va’s purpose is to support Pasifika families and communities to unleash their full potential. The organisation provides evidence-based resources, information, knowledge and support services for the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes.


Ms Powell says we know there are strong cultural traditions that must be considered with care. “We trust in Le Va’s expertise, knowledge and ability to communicate in a way that works best for our Pasifika communities”.


For more information about Atu-Mai go to



For help now:


• Safe to Talk: Free call 0800 044 334, or free text 4334. Talk to trained counsellors for sexual harm 24/7. Live chat service available 24/7


• Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633 free text 234 to talk to free support for young people. Webchat available 5pm-9pm 7 days a week


• Need to talk: 1737 Free call or free text anytime. Talk to trained counsellors about your wellbeing 24/7.


If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the police.


For information and more support:


• Aunty Dee: Free online support to help you solve your problems.


• Family violence: Free call 0800 456 450. Information and advice for any family violence situation. 9am-11pm


• Depression Helpline: Free call 0800 111 757 free text 4202.


• The lowdown: Free text 5626. Information and support for young people about depression and anxiety.


• Find Support: Sensitive claims ACC (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm) - Free and confidential access to support (including therapy) for people affected by sexual violence in any way. For all other enquiries or injuries as a result of family violence call 0800 222 822 or Ph: 0800 735 566 or


• Womens Refuge: Free call 0800 733 843. Information and support for women and children, 24/7.


• Shine: Free call 0508 744 633. Information and advice for domestic abuse. 9am-11pm.