Labour has added its voice to calls for a review of legal
protection orders following the tragic deaths of Bradley and
Ellen Livingstone at the hands of their father Edward
Livingstone, who killed himself after shooting his children,
was last year convicted twice for breaching a protection
order taken out by his wife and had spoken of killing his
"This heart-breaking waste of lives should never have
happened," Labour's women's affairs spokeswoman Carol
"It raises many questions about how we deal with family
violence and shows we need to have a serious rethink on the
effectiveness of protection orders.
"A review of the process should look at targeting early
intervention - providing more resources and support to both
Ms Beaumont said it was worth considering broadening the
scope of police safety orders which would allow police to
initiate a protection order where they deemed a situation to
be dangerous rather than relying on a potential victim to
apply for an order.
"But we particularly need to look at how the police and
courts respond to breaches of protection orders," she said.
Labour justice spokesman Andrew Little said more tools may be
needed by the courts and police to make protection orders
"This could include a requirement for a risk assessment of
offenders on a second or subsequent breach of a protection
order, something that is already done on bail applications.
"Another consideration is for District Courts to take over
the issuing of protection orders from the Family Court. This
would move the focus from one of conciliation to one of
"That a number of agencies working on the frontline have
expressed concerns about our current legislation is a clear
message that things aren't working," Ms Beaumont said.
"We need to be vigilant in this area, especially where the
risks are so high, and ensure that our responses are
effective in providing protection."
Chief executive of Women's Refuge Heather Henare said there
needed to be a stronger response to protection order
"We need to concentrate on the fact that there is a link
between breaches of protection orders and domestic violence
murders in this country.
"People who threaten to kill should be treated in the most
high risk category with strong consequences."
Ms Henare all breaches of protection orders "should be
treated with the full force of our law".
"This tragic incident is the worst kind of wake up call for
this country around the severity and frequency of domestic
and family violence in our communities."
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald