What and Why

What is the Otara CSA project?

ACC is leading the response to Action 26 in Te Aorerekura (the National Strategy and Action Plan to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence), which is to “strengthen community-led solutions to prevent child sexual abuse” (where a ‘child’ is 0-12 years old).

To achieve this ACC has funded five pilot projects, in different geographic areas, focussed on meeting the needs of those who are disproportionately affected by CSA, that is, people with disabilities, Pasifika and Maori whanau and recent migrant groups, those identifying with the rainbow communities, and people living in rural communities.

The project in Otara is being hosted by a local social service agency, Te Tai-awa o te Ora. It is based on the premise that people who live with an issue have expertise about it which is at least as important and reliable as information from experts and researchers.

Therefore, the central mahi of identifying solutions to prevent CSA will be done in four community hui of local people who have been affected by CSA either directly or indirectly. Other community representatives will provide feedback before the strategies are published for implementation by any people or groups committed to preventing CSA. Given the emphasis on community-led, local people are also employed to do most of the work in implementing the project.

Why is the Project Happening?

All of the key stakeholders have a shared commitment to preventing CSA and a shared belief that community-led strategies are likely to be effective, but each has nuanced motives as well.

Te Tai-awa put in a proposal to host one of the pilot projects because the ACC criteria for funding were an unusually strong match with its organisational values: especially community-led and from the perspectives of marginalised groups, but also recognising the importance of prevention and of being strengths-based.

Primary prevention and community-led are both relatively new, unknown approaches for ACC mahi; so they are funding these projects mainly to increase their understanding of working in these ways, although of course it is anticipated that the specific resources produced in the five pilots will contribute to preventing CSA as well.

For Te Aorerekura, this mahi is part of Shift Four, one of the six major shifts required to achieve the overall outcome that all people in Aotearoa/NZ are thriving; their wellbeing is enhanced and sustained because they are safe and supported to live their lives free from family violence and sexual violence.

Shift Four recognises that a shift in investment toward a primary prevention strengthening model based on Te Tiriti is fundamental to reducing future harm.

Project Outcomes

From the community’s perspective, the main outcome of this specific project is to reduce the incidence of CSA in Otara. From Te Tai-awa’s perspective, at both a local and national level, a great outcome would be demonstrating that the easily scalable Structural Analysis approach is effective as a community-led process; we are monitoring indicators of whether this is being achieved.

There are also contracted outputs for the project which should be useful locally (published documentation of the strategies identified by the community as likely to contribute to the prevention of CSA, ready for implementation) and nationally (a guide for other communities wanting to undertake a similar project, including learnings from this one).

For ACC, a critical outcome is their learning, from all five pilot projects, in areas which are relatively new for their mahi; in particular they want to increase their understanding about development of a strengths-based, primary prevention foundation for long term social and behavioural change, as well as about what infrastructure is needed to enable scalable solutions, to inform their future investment strategies.

Csa Maori Kete Weave Basket

Te Aorerekura expects the mahi associated with Action 26 to have outcomes at two levels – an impact on people:

  • children and young people understand healthy relationships, how to seek help, and can access tailored services.
  • families, whānau and communities take action to prevent family violence and sexual violence.
  • government and communities work better together.
  • communities design, lead and deliver solutions to affect change.
  • government commitment to addressing the underlying social conditions and norms.