Cost of assault on Pacific people rising

The financial cost of assault on Pacific people is rising, prompting a violence prevention programme for its youth.

The average cost of ACC assault claims by Pacific people has risen by 36 percent in the past three years, from $2321 to $3161.

And domestic assault claims have increased by more than 60 percent, from $1315 to $2162, over the same period.

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It suggested assaults were much more serious now and prompted ACC to partner with Pacific organisation Le Va to develop a programme to prevent violence, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said.

"We want to prevent people from being victims of family violence and victims of assault," he said.

ACC research showed three quarters of violence involving Pacific people was not reported.

"They don't report incidents of family violence [and] they don't report assault," the Minister said.

ACC and Le Va have developed Atu Mai, a programme that supports young Pacific people to have healthy resilient relationships, Le Va chief executive Dr Monique Faleafa said.

"We'll have face-to-face workshops but also some highly innovative digital technology and digital platforms to really get the reach we need to our young people."

In a community where reporting assault was taboo, it was a big but necessary step,  Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said.

"Culture is about love, culture is about nurturing," he said.

"Not the stuff that they believe is associated with physical and sexual violence."

The government is investing nearly $5.9m over five years to address the issue.