Te Awatea Violence Research Centre

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Te Awatea Violence Research Centre University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


+64 3 364 2987
ext 8443


Te Awatea Violence
Research Centre
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8020
New Zealand

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Te Awatea Violence Research Centre

Photo of palm treesTe Awatea has been established in response to community concerns at the prevalence of violence in New Zealand.

Interpersonal violence can affect people of all ages, across all cultural and social groups. It can cause physical, emotional, psychological, and material damage to victims/survivors, their families, and their communities.

Aims of Te Awatea

Te Awatea Violence Research Centre has three main aims:

  • Information access
    To function as a national repository, accessible to the community, of information on violence awareness, intervention, and prevention.
  • Research generation
    To act as a co-ordinating umbrella to initiate, facilitate, and collate violence research activity in New Zealand.
  • Educational opportunities
    To provide training and educational opportunities for professionals, groups, and communities that assist and support victims/survivors of violence and abuse and/or provide rehabilitation and other services for perpetrators of violence.

Te Awatea kaupapa

The name Te Awatea - moving from darkness into light - was gifted to the Centre by Te Runaka ki Otautahi o Kai Tahu. This relationship and consultation represents partnership with Maori and reflects a commitment on behalf of Te Awatea to support the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in scholarship, research, and practice. Te Runaka ki Otautahi o Kai Tahu has also appointed a Kaumatua to the Centre thus further strengthening ties with Maori.

Tangata Whenua

Te Awatea recognises the centrality of Maori interests as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand and is committed to ensuring that Maori are represented in all aspects of the Centre's work. This includes the support of Maori scholarship and research and the development of methodologies that are non-colonising.


Te Awatea also affirms the interests of other cultural groups within New Zealand and is committed to working toward a better understanding of how violence impacts on our diverse population.

Victims/survivors of violence

Te Awatea is also committed to supporting the interests of people most at risk of becoming victims of violence, in particular by contributing to wider preventative efforts to ensure that all people in Aotearoa are supported to live violence-free lives.

Research excellence

Te Awatea is committed to the generation of ethically responsible, high quality research that reflects accurate experiences of contexts, processes, and outcomes in collaboration with national and international researchers.

Te Awatea structure

To achieve its aim of providing information and resources about violence, violence intervention and prevention, Te Awatea provides the umbrella for five research concentrations. Together, these will provide an ongoing resource of up-to-date research and information across the range of areas.

Te Awatea structure

  • Child and Family Welfare
    This component includes areas relating to early intervention with families, child abuse and neglect, and family group decision-making in child welfare.
  • Domestic and Family Violence, and Violence Against Women
    This component includes areas relating to spousal abuse, elder abuse, violence against parents, rape and sexual assault.
  • Youth
    This component includes areas relating to the impact of violence on the lives of young people, such as bullying, sexual and physical abuse, date rape, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide.
  • Institutional and Cultural Violence
    This component includes areas relating to workplace violence and intimidation, institutional racism and media representations of violence.
  • Criminal and Forensic Violence
    This component includes all areas of criminal justice such as gang violence, homicide, street violence, sexual offending, and issues of mental health.
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