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Weekly Media Roundup

June 15, 2017 at 3:24 PM

Needs of children exposed to family violence

Released today, 'What works for children exposed to family violence?' brings together evidence about the best interventions which make a positive difference to these children’s lives.

The main revelation of this paper is that the harm caused by family violence exposure is just as harmful as the harm caused by direct abuse. ‘Exposure’ to family violence is damaging no matter whether the child sees, hears, is directly involved, or experiences the aftermath of violence in their family.


Govt's chief social worker unregistered with board

Less than a week after the government indicated it wanted all social workers to be registered, it has emerged the country's senior social worker is one of those not registered.

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, now requires its social workers to register under the current voluntary system.

Yet the ministry's chief social worker, Paul Nixon, along with 23 percent of the organisation's frontline social workers, are not registered with the Social Workers Registration Board.


UN expert urges public action to halt abuse of elderly

UN expert urges public action to halt abuse of elderly by relatives

GENEVA (13 June 2017) – Many older people are at risk of being abused by their own relatives, a United Nations human rights expert has warned. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, Independent Expert on the human rights of older people, is urging greater vigilance and more reporting of suspected cases. Speaking ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June, Ms. Kornfeld-Matte says most abuse goes undetected despite clear warning signs.


Children's homes struggling due to lack of staff - advocates

The government needs to start paying a salary to caregivers at state-owned family homes if it wants to help young people in need, advocates say.

Figures from the Ministry of Social Development show in January this year 13 of its 59 houses were not operating, meaning almost 80 bedrooms were unavailable.

The family homes aim to operate as normal households for up to six children or teenagers whose own parents can't look after them.

They are run by two live-in caregivers - usually a couple - who get free rent and electricity, a vehicle and a small allowance, but no salary.


Marceau inquest: Police 'strongly, firmly' opposed killer's bail

A police prosecutor "strongly", "firmly" and repeatedly opposed a soon-to-be-killer getting bail after he kidnapped and assaulted North Shore teenager Christie Marceau.

Adam Pell gave evidence this morning on the second day of the inquest into Christie's death.

The 18-year-old was stabbed to death in her family home by Akshay Chand in November 2011.


Parents of Sophie Elliott back new strangulation offence: 'That's exactly what he did'

The parents of Sophie Elliott are backing the creation of a new strangulation offence and say such a crime is often a forerunner to even more serious violence.

Lesley Elliott has appeared before a parliamentary committee to give her view on an overhaul of family violence laws that will create new offences including non-fatal strangulation, which will carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.


Must Do Better: New Zealand's Disappointing Report Card Results

OPINION: As New Zealanders, we pride ourselves on being among the world's best at lots of things: Rugby. Airlines. Scenery. Seafood.

If only we were as good at children.

But we're not.

That's the sobering finding of UNICEF's Innocenti Report Card for 2016, a global survey measuring how well New Zealand cares for its children, compared with 41 other OECD/EU nations.


Teen without a bed spending nights in cells - lawyer

A 16-year-old boy has spent the past two nights in a police cell because the Ministry for Vulnerable Children does not have any beds for him, his lawyer says.

Helen Bowen said the teenager has been in police custody in Waitakere since Sunday and could be spending third night there.

She said this was not the first time this happened, after the boy spent up to six nights in a police cell last year.


Child, Youth and Family 'failings' exposed over Southland toddler's death

A review of Child, Youth and Family has exposed a host of mistakes and oversights in its handling of the case of a toddler who was allegedly murdered in October 2015.

The 17-month-old Southland boy was found dead in his cot. An autopsy revealed bruises to the boy's left eye and the right side of his forehead. He had suffered a blow to the back of the head and spinal injuries.

Police charged the partner of the boy's mother with murder three days later. He died at Otago Corrections Facility – a suspected suicide – on November 22.


NZ Law Society highlights gaps in legislation updating family violence laws

The New Zealand Law Society supports proposed law changes to improve the legislative response to family violence but says further protections for family violence victims need to be included.

The Law Society presented its submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill to Parliament’s Justice and Electoral Committee today, recommending changes to the bill.

Law Society spokesperson Paul von Dadelszen told the committee the bill needs to address some gaps in the existing legislative framework, to improve the protections available to victims of family violence.


Dr Ang Jury - The Refuge Boss

Ang Jury has her work cut out. The fight to address the shameful statistics on violence against women in this country is a Herculean task.

Police were called to 110,000 family violence incidents in 2015 - the most recent year of data available - but an estimated three-quarters of incidents go unreported annually.

Sometimes it doesn't help to talk about the numbers, says Jury, the chief executive of Women's Refuge.


Gritty one-woman 'White Ribbon Ride' superb

REVIEW: Skilfully unleashed, this gritty day-in-the-life expose behind the scenes of a regional Women's Refuge is relentlessly compelling.

Kali Kopae, who won the 2015 Wellington Theatre Awards best actress for her performance, shows exactly why that was merited in a play that also picked up the outstanding new New Zealand play award.

Kopae plays five women connected to Te Whariki Manawahine o Hauraki in Thames. Three have suffered domestic violence, one is a support worker, and the fifth is a documentary-maker recording their stories.


Baby boy born in Auckland boarding house dies just days later

A newborn baby has died just days after being born at one of Auckland's accommodation-of-last-resort boarding houses.

Police were treating the boy's death as suspicious, though Detective Inspector Gary Lendrum said there were still "a number of enquiries to make".

The baby was taken to Starship Hospital from the Oceanic Lodge in a critical condition on May 23 and died there three days later, Lendrum said.


Auckland housing taskforce report released

A mayoral taskforce is recommending a raft of changes to cover the $19 billion cost of getting Auckland's growing population into homes over the next three decades.

Mayor Phil Goff said the city's population was expected to increase by up to 1 million people over that time.

He set up the taskforce early this year, asking it to identify barriers to building new homes at a speed and scale needed to meet the demand caused by population growth.


Home detention for terrifying assaults on 4-year-old that left toddler with nightmares

A four-year-old boy has been left with nightmares after assaults in which he was grabbed around the neck, thrown into a bush and dropped onto a bed.

After spending three months in prison on remand, Wiremu David Maxwell, 25, was sentenced to three months home detention in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to charges of assaulting a child, assaulting with intent to injure and contravening a protection order.

Judge Chris Sygrove said the victim impact statement outlined how following the assaults the boy had occasional night terrors and screamed so loudly that everyone in the house was alarmed. 


Former prison counsellor convicted over abusive Facebook post

A former prison counsellor has been convicted over an abusive Facebook post in which he described a woman as "a lethal injection of toxicity".

Deane Martin Ellison, 51, pleaded not guilty to the charge under the Harmful Digital Communications Act and appeared in the Dunedin District Court for a judge-alone trial last week.

After the half-day hearing, Judge Dominic Flatley found him guilty and said the defendant's former profession should have made clear the impact of his online rant.


Stepfather on trial for historic abuse

The jury in a trial of a man alleged to have wilfully ill-treated his stepchildren has heard he forcibly administered methamphetamine to his stepdaughter and her friend while they were as young as 14 years old. 

The man, in his 40s, whose name is suppressed, is standing trial before Judge Raoul Edwin Neave in the Napier District Court after pleading not guilty to 17 charges which detail the abuse of his stepson, stepdaughter and her friend in fragmented time periods since March 2003.

Prosecutor Jo Rielly opened the Crown's case by telling the jury they would be hearing about a lifestyle, likely to be very different to their own, involving drug abuse and how it shaped the lives of several children under the defendant's care.


States must provide shelters for women victims of violence

States must provide shelters as “survival tool” for women victims of violence - UN expert

GENEVA (12 June 2017) – States must provide shelters for women victims of violence under their human rights obligations, a United Nations independent expert has said today.

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Šimonović, told the Human Rights Council: “Shelters and protection orders are survival tools which protect women whose lives are at risk.


Category: News Media