Christchurch Women's Refuge says it wants to help men who perpetrate family violence by removing them, rather than women and children, from their homes.
It says men only get support under the current system if the judicial process requires them to undertake an approved offenders' programme.
Under the new initiative, a temporary home will be provided for men who may have caused violence or are considered likely to do so by police.
The refuge says that will relieve pressure on safe house accommodation for women and children, which is in short supply since the February earthquake.
Chief executive Nicola Woodward says the residential service for men will provide a positive place for them to take responsibility and address their behaviour.
She says giving support to families will help them recover from family violence.