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New Zealand has unacceptably high rates of family violence and family violence related deaths, including violence against women, child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse. It has been estimated that family violence has affected one in seven New Zealanders, with a total economic cost of $1.2 to $5.8 billion per annum.

Each year between one-third and one-half of cases investigated by the Police as homicide are perpetrated by a member of the victim’s family or a person with some other close relationship. From 2000 to 2004 there were 121 family violence cases investigated by the Police as murder, of which 56 victims were women, 39 were children (under 17) and 26 were men (Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families 2006).

The New Zealand Police identified 65 culpable deaths in 2008, 63 in 2007 and 53 in 2006. Of these, 19, 26 and 25 were classified as family violence related, respectively.

It is estimated that each homicide costs New Zealand $4 million on average, putting the estimated cost of 2007/08 family violence deaths at $180 million.

The focus of the Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) is to reduce family violence deaths by:

  • reviewing and reporting family violence deaths to the Health Quality & Safety Commission 
  • developing strategies to reduce family violence.

The FVDRC aims to collect a standard set of information on every family violence death. Local and national review of this information helps identify:

  • patterns and trends in family violence deaths over time
  • policy and practice improvements that can contribute to the reduction of family violence deaths.


Last updated: 13th November, 2021