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Weekly Media Roundup

June 08, 2017 at 5:27 PM

Social workers to prove they are fit for the job

Social workers will have to be registered under a proposed new law designed to put them under greater scrutiny.

The government will introduce legislation to Parliament in August that will make the change, including new performance standards and ongoing professional development.

It is also hiring an extra 42 social workers to work for the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.

Read more...

Family violence: New holistic approach announced

The Government has today launched a new "common approach" response to family violence in a bid to ensure those seeking help get it - wherever they turn.

The Risk and Assessment Management Framework (RAMF) was announced at the Family Violence Summit in Wellington this morning.

The summit, headed by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, has brought together more than 120 key players in the family violence sector.

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Lack of trust major barrier for Govt agencies dealing with domestic violence - PM

The Prime Minister has highlighted a lack of trust as a major barrier to Government agencies being able to deal with the problem of domestic violence.

Bill English has identified it as a problem as he's opened a Family Violence Summit in Wellington today.

He said a major part of fixing family violence problems is knowing the people you need to change, but currently authorities don't have this information.

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The homeless are not part of the 'concrete jungle'

If there is one thing the homeless can't find rummaging through a rubbish dump, it is dignity.

The odd piece of clothing and food scraps – not so difficult.

But a charity organisation hoped to change that for a day with a pop-up store that will allow Auckland's homeless and vulnerable to select donated winter items without losing their pride.  

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The Street Store goes west

Free clothes, entertainment and more: a one-day freestore is coming to west Auckland this Saturday, writes Zaskiya Lesa.

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Countdown latest to back Green's domestic violence bill

Supermarket chain Countdown is the latest to make a submission to select committee to back Green Party MP Jan Logie's proposed domestic violence victim protection bill.

National backed the bill in March taking it through to the select committee who will be hearing submissions until early July, Logie said.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the bill is worth discussing but needed work.

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Nurse's personal plea for domestic violence leave law change

A nurse has spoken about losing her job after suffering violence and rape at the hands of her partner - urging Parliament to back domestic violence leave.

MPs on the justice and electoral committee thanked Ann Simmons for her bravery after listening in silence to her story.

The committee is working through dozens of submissions on legislation that would allow victims of abuse to get up to 10 extra days' leave a year and would classify family violence as a workplace hazard.

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Early MSD security problem ignored

Government officials identified a security problem with the system that was going to be used to collect client data from community agencies in January, but it was not treated as seriously as it should have been.

The Ministry of Social Development has had to put a plan to collect client data from organisations reliant on government funding on hold, because the IT system is not secure enough.

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CYF manager asked if spin should be put on letter

Child Youth and Family officials asked if they should put a spin on a Minister's letter to a man worried about the safety of his 3-year-old daughter.

The Family Court recently ruled that the agency, now the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, put the little girl at risk by repeatedly claiming the father was violent.

That was not true and caused a five-month delay to the man getting custody of his daughter, whose mother was taking drugs and in an abusive relationship.

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Opinion: My mum has died and whose fault is it?

A woman in Christchurch has sent this personal account of damage done to her family by alcohol and domestic violence.

We are failing our people, we have one of the highest domestic family violence rates in the world, we have children living in poverty, we have a huge problem with alcohol in New Zealand which seems to be being ignored, and people are dying.

Our new generations are coming through with the same struggles, falling through the cracks, and so the cycle continues.

Whose fault is it?

Read more...

Associate housing minister Alfred Ngaro apologise for his previous blurring of party politics and policy

Associate housing minister Alfred Ngaro has apologised for comments he made last month, calling them "wrong, poorly judged, and poorly made".

Calling himself "the elephant in the room" during his address at Wednesday's Community Housing Aotearoa conference, Ngaro said his intent was to work openly and honestly with all housing sector organisations.

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Number of children and teens on anti-depressants doubles

The number of children and teenagers on Prozac-style anti-depressants has soared 98 per cent in the last 10 years to a total of nearly 15,000 young people last year.

Ministry of Health figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act (OIA) showed 2163 children aged 13 or under collected a prescription of antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) last year - an increase of 79.4 per cent since 2006.

The number of 14 to 18-year-olds who collected a prescription of SSRIs increased 101.9 per cent in the same timeframe to a total of 12,617 people last year.

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Bullying, child abuse and domestic violence affecting mental health of more and more Kiwis, experts warn

Watch news report here...

Domestic violence group calls for Commission of Inquiry into Family Court system

A group advocating for family violence and abuse victims is calling for a commission of inquiry into the Family Court after a new survey showed hundreds of women felt "failed" by the system.

The survey, Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire, was carried out by the Backbone Collective, an independent body aiming to take action against domestic and sexual violence towards women.

The group have also vowed to act as a Family Court watchdog, saying the system is riddled with "widespread failures" and dysfunction which further harms women and children.

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Former ward of the state heads to Parliament

Riwhi Toi Whenua was once a ward of the state, and now he's taking the state on - seeking justice for the thousands of children who, like him, were abused in state care.

Between the 1950s and 1980s 100,000 children were placed in state-run institutions and thousands were abused. But without an inquiry, it's impossible the quantify the number of damaged souls.

Toi Whenua, who was taken into care against the wishes of his family after his mother died of cancer, is one of many calling for an independent inquiry.

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Champions join battle against family violence

Keeping victims of violence safe is something we can all aspire to, says Monique Heke.

Mrs Heke has been something of a foodie celebrity since featuring with husband Henry in My Kitchen Rules in 2015, and in their own series, Tradition on a Plate, which recently screened on Maori Television.

The couple, also Hawke's Bay Today columnists, recently accepted Safer Napier's invitation to be champions for the Bystanders campaign and its key message "See something, say something".

Read more...

Primary school 'excludes' girl with period

A 10-year-old girl was sent home from her primary school because it did not have a sanitary disposal unit for her to use, a public health sociologist says.

The girl only returned after her family donated a unit for her to use to dispose of her sanitary products.

Sarah Donovan, a research fellow at the University of Otago's public health department, told Nine to Noon the principal suggested the girl could go on the contraceptive pill.

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Aussie leads gender equality campaign for babies and toddlers

Chloe Shorten is leading a campaign encouraging parents to teach young children to challenge gender stereotypes even before they can walk.

The psychologist and author, best known as the wife of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, has teamed up with domestic violence advocacy group Our Watch.

The group will today release a research report supporting the challenging of gender stereotypes for children aged 0 to 3.

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A truth-telling play makes its Manawatu debut

Kali Kopae's face shines under an unlikely halo of a woolly beanie. It's an open face and a tool for telling a nest of women's stories.

They are stories that are grounded in the dirt of truth, accumulated, absorbed and nurtured by Kopae's husband, Jamie McCaskill.

Kali Kopae stars in the play Not in Our Neighbourhood.

While living in Thames a few years ago, McCaskill worked with the Hauraki Women's Refuge as a performance advocate and from that, grew the one-woman play Not in Our Neighbourhood.

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App to protect children from porn

Hawke's Bay families have been asked to take a stand against the ease of accessing online pornography for children.

Two Kiwi dads, Rory Birkbeck and Aaron Sinclair, designed Safe Surfer, an application which blocks harmful websites and enforces safe search options on Google and YouTube so pornographic material cannot be accidentally seen.

"Pornography often features aggressive content which is degrading towards women. We can't afford to have our children grow up thinking this is the sexual norm," Mr Birkbeck said.

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Adjournment for man charged with wife's murder

A man charged with the murder of his wife in Taupo at Easter will wait at least another two weeks before he pleads to the charge.

Simon Harvey Frank, 56, from Wellington appeared in the High Court at Rotorua today via audio visual link. He is charged with the murder of 58-year-old Petra Frank.

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Category: News Media