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Weekly Media Roundup

July 06, 2017 at 5:36 PM

When rugby brings out the worst

In the hours before the first Lions test in Auckland, a group of girls aged between 13 and 16 took to the Kingsland streets to entertain fans with their circus skills. In return, they were met with a barrage of lewd comments, writes the troupe’s co-artistic director Carlene Newall de Jesus.

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HighJinx performers harassed by rugby fans

The sexual harassment of young women from HighJinx Aerial Arts Youth Company by rugby fans on their way to Eden Park has shone a light on the very serious question, what is wrong with our sporting culture?

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‘When did we become this?’ On sexual harassment and ‘innocent’ bystanders

Yesterday we published an account of how a group of teenage circus performers were subject to crude sexual remarks prior to the first Lions test in Auckland. The story prompted a huge reaction, including this response from Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue.

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Michelle Duff: If you stay silent, our girls will think it's their fault

OPINION: There's a general cry that goes up when men are caught publicly subjecting girls and women to vile sexual violence.

"Not all men!" the others say. Not all men are sexist. Not all men harass. Not all men rape.

But how many men stand aside and say nothing when a 13-year-old girl is asked: "How much for a handjob?" on an Auckland street? How many men laugh when they hear a  man yell "I'd like to get in your box!" to a pre-pubescent child?

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Teen girls sexually harassed by rugby fans call for change

Sexual comments made by rugby fans towards members of a young all-female dance group left the girls feeling "really gross".

Two of the girls from HighJinx - a 13 to 16-year-old Auckland youth dance company specialising in aerial and acrobatic circus - said the comments showed a real problem in society and they did not want the issue swept aside.

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Partner allegedly killed Kim Richmond

When Waikato woman Kim Louise Richmond was buried on June 20 her partner of 26 years, Cory Scott Jefferies, did not attend her funeral.

It can now be revealed it was because he was the person standing in the dock of the Hamilton District Court charged with her murder.

At a subsequent appearance on Tuesday, interim name suppression lapsed and Jefferies was revealed as the person accused of Richmond's death.

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State care abuse survivors: 'We need to see action taken'

More than 100 former wards of the state gathered at Parliament today to call for a full government inquiry into the abuse they suffered while in state care.

They arrived one by one at Parliament's grounds today, cradling their childhood photos in their arms.

There were long embraces between survivors who have known the horrors of state abuse.

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Public inquiry wanted after historic abuse in state care

New Zealanders who were abused as children in state care are today calling for a public inquiry and apology.

They've banded together with the Human Rights Commission to present a petition to Parliament at 1pm today, along with an open letter on the abuse they suffered.

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Women's Refuge appeal focuses on child victims of violence

Helping children in Aotearoa lead lives free from violence is the catch-cry of this year's annual Women's Refuge appeal, which starts on Monday.

The nationwide campaign is targeted at raising funds to go towards meeting the costs for services that the refuge provides for children across the country.

Figures show that just less than half of the more than 40,000 women and children referred to Women's Refuge last year were children. 

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Evidence backs domestic violence leave, MPs told

Domestic violence leave is rarely if ever exploited, Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue says, backed up by evidence from policies in Australia and The Warehouse Group.

Dr Blue has appeared in front of Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee, which is considering legislation that would give domestic violence victims up to 10 days' paid leave to seek advice or even move house.

She said Australia had in place a similar piece of law, and research showed that workers did not exploit entitlements.

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Women's centre funding 'whisked away' by government

Thousands of people may lose support after two women's centres lost government funding, the centres say.

The Auckland Women's Centre, which has provided support services to tens of thousands of women since 1975, has been forced to turn to the community for support after a massive cut to its funding.

It supports about 4000 women including those suffering abuse, eating disorders, health issues and those needing parenting support.

It was receiving $100,000 from government a year but as of this month it will not get anything.

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Many Kiwi parents still consider smacking as acceptable

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says there is no doubt the 2007 "anti-smacking" law change has worked to protect children.

His comments come after a report showing a third of Kiwi kids are still smacked by their parents. 

Ten years on from the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act in 2007 – the "anti-smacking law" driven by MP Sue Bradford – which removed the defence of "reasonable force" for adults who smacked their children, a longitudinal study shows many parents still use physical discipline as a form of punishment.

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Smacking children: It's up for debate again, but should it be?

Conservative lobby group Family First has long campaigned for the right of parents to discipline their children using smacking. On Wednesday, spokesperson Bob McCoskrie told The AM Show the law is a "complete ass" and "parents are sick of politicians telling them how to raise their children". 

This election year, he's not the only one calling for change. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants another referendum on smacking.

But while the likes of Family First and NZ First insist a smack is part of good parenting, child advocate groups like UNICEF say disciplining children without hitting them "is part of creating a society with less violence in the home". 

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Police programme, Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke, rolls out across south Auckland

A police programme focusing on the causes of family harm will now be rolled out across all parts of south Auckland.

Last April, Counties Manukau Police began trailing Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke across Manurewa, Papakura and Franklin.

Programme leader Inspector Ann Wilkie says the initiative, a complete "mindset change" for police, is producing results.

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Counties Manukau Children's Team is helping south Auckland's at-risk youngsters

Putting the needs of young people at the centre of its work is paying off for the Counties Manukau Children's Team.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley launched the team in south Auckland in March last year.

It was the 10th team established and is New Zealand's largest. The teams are dedicated to stopping at-risk children from falling into state care.

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CYFS warned of 'next Nia Glassie' before baby Isaiah Neil dies in car while family smoke drugs

EXCLUSIVE: Paternal family of Isaiah Neil have written to Social Welfare Minister Anne Tolley seeking answers about the death of the eight-month-old.

Social workers were repeatedly warned about the dysfunctional family of a baby who later died in a hot car while his carers smoked synthetic cannabis inside the house.

Specifically, concerns were raised with Child Youth & Family Services about the baby's mother frequently smoking synthetic cannabis in the months before his death.

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Parliament to debate creating harsher penalties for domestic violence

Parliament is going to debate a Labour Party bill designed to create stronger penalties for domestic violence.

Nanaia Mahuta's bill would make the offence an aggravating factor at sentencing.

It was one of two bills drawn from the latest members' ballot and will go on parliament's order paper for a first reading.

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Gang member stabbing victim also a loved father and valued employee

When a member of a gang infamous for its violence and criminality is killed, are they a victim the same as anyone else? Deena Coster reports on the aftermath of the death of Rex Karaitiana. 

Rex Karaitiana was much more than a gang patch, his family and former bosses say. He was a proud father, an adoring grandfather and valued employee.

Rex Karaitiana died at the age of 50, leaving behind his children and mokopuna.

Black Power gang member Karaitiana died on June 3, 2016, two days after being stabbed in the back by his partner Helen Joyce Rose, during a domestic assault at their home in Eltham, South Taranaki.

On Friday Rose was sentenced to eight months of home detention for his killing.

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Sanction hurting solo mums by reducing benefit for not naming father

Some women are being penalised over $100 a week for not naming the father of their children.

Auckland woman Stephanie, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, can't prove the father of five of her 10 children. She gets $116 deducted from her benefit every week.

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Toby Awatere joked with police before admitting strangling partner to death

An Australian court has released chilling video footage of a former Upper Hutt man's confession of strangling his partner to death. 

Toby Awatere, 37, was jailed yesterday for 20 years for the murder of his partner, 27-year-old Jackline Ohide.

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Violent offender jailed for protection order breach

A man with a track record of serious domestic violence has been jailed for breaching a protection order.

A month after being sentenced to home detention on charges of assaulting a child, assaulting with intent to injure and contravening a protection order, Wiremu David Maxwell has been convicted for a new offence.

His past violent offending resulted in a four-year-old boy he assaulted suffering from terrifying nightmares. The abuse included the child being grabbed around the neck, thrown into a bush and dropped onto a bed.

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Man robbed of his innocence by nun speaks out decades later about his quest for justice

A man, sexually abused as a child by a nun, kept his anguish secret for most of his life. EMILY SPINK talks to him about his quest for justice.

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New 'Need to Talk' number for mental health help

It's hoped a new easy-to-remember, four-digit number will encourage more people to get help for mental health and addiction problems.

The number is free to call and text, and is available 24/7. Trained counsellors will be able to offer immediate support, and refer people to primary and secondary mental health and other services if they need them.

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Figures reveal under-staffing of mental health sector

New information shows the extent of the country's shortage of psychiatrists and mental health workers.

Figures released to Nine to Noon showed there were 55 vacancies for psychiatrists in the country's hospitals, nearly 100 unfilled nurse positions in acute mental health wards and just under 40 unfilled jobs in crisis assessment teams in mid-May.

The areas worst hit by the shortage include West Coast, Hawke's Bay, Tairawhiti, Counties Manukau and Waitemata.

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Helping anxious kids in a troubled world

Children have different fears at different ages and should never be given the message their anxious feelings are wrong or bad, clinical psychologist Kirsty Ross says.

The anxiety response in both children and adults is either fight, flight or freeze, Dr Ross says.

A child who seems angry can also be scared or anxious – lashing out verbally or physically can be a missed signal that is misinterpreted as aggression.

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Category: News Media