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Weekly Media Roundup

September 21, 2017 at 4:49 PM

Child sex abuse, overweight children drag down New Zealand's health ranking

New Zealand's child sex abuse rates are among the world's worst, according to a United Nations (UN) report.

Ranked 32nd out of 188 countries on a range of global health measures, New Zealand's score for childhood sexual abuse was a shocking two out of 100, with only six other countries doing as badly or worse.

Auckland University Professor Janet Fanslow said our terrible score on child sex abuse was not surprising.

Legislation and policies around sexual violence and child protection lacked prevention measures and wrongly treated sexual abuse as a problem affecting only a small number of people, she said.

Read more...

'Dad changed': New programme designed to break the cycle of family violence

Change the parent, change the child.  That’s the approach of a new programme to tackle family violence in New Zealand.

"There are programmes to teach a parent to stop violence and offending," said Major Pam Waugh, head of social services for the Salvation Army, "but not to help them understand their role in parenting and the effect of their violence on children."

An act of family violence is reported every five and half minutes, while one in seven children reports being harmed by a parent.

Read more...

Police inquiries show young mother and baby killed by deliberately-set fire

As Susan Bruce was dragged from her bed, fire ravaged her home.

She saw Scott Millar's body, lying in the hallway.

Her partner Anthony pulled Millar, 26, out through the front door of the farm house.

He went back in to find two other family members: Katie Bruce, 20, and her four-month-old son Ash Millar. But he couldn't save them.

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The Big Read: Man told sexual abuse is not a crime because it was the 70s

Is it possible in the 21st century to be a child abuser without committing a crime?

Terrible as it might sound, John* - now aged 53 - discovered it is when he reported his foster mum to Auckland police this year.

He was 12-years-old and she was 37 when she first took him into her bed in 1977.

She would spend the next five years having sex with her young Maori foster son.

Read more...

You’re not selfish if you want a tax cut – but there’s a better way

People who are ‘just managing’ in New Zealand are not heartless if they support policies that will help their family most in the short term. But there is a better, more positive way to ease their pain, writes Jess Berentson-Shaw.

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Teenage girl attempts suicide after sexual assault by 'predator' hospital worker

The parents of a teenage girl that was sexually assaulted by a Auckland City Hospital worker believes she was not the only patient he "inappropriately touched".

However, the Auckland District Health Board did not want to confirm whether there might be more victims. The man has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month. 

According to her mother, the teenager was in the hospital to receive treatment for her mental health, and in the wake of the attack tried to take her life.

Read more...

Former Ngāi Tahu chief Mark Solomon opens up about sexual abuse in his iwi

Former Ngāi Tahu chief Tā Mark Solomon has spoken publicly about the danger of hiding sexual abuse after his iwi was rocked by revelations.

During a talk about domestic violence at a suicide prevention symposium in Christchurch on Friday, Solomon opened up about his first cousin and Kaikōura rūnanga kaumātua Tai Stirling, 60, who was found guilty of 14 charges of sexual abuse last year.

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Privacy and profiling fears over secret ACC software

Public insurer ACC is using a secret computer model to predict how long clients will be on its books, then sorting and targeting those it considers a risk.

The software was built using the private information of thousands of ACC clients without their knowledge - and possibly without their consent.

It has had no public scrutiny or oversight from agencies such as the Privacy Commissioner, despite having potential mass privacy implications.

Critics say the lack of transparency is unacceptable, particularly considering the corporation's poor track record with sensitive information.

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No privacy issues with ACC prediction model, says minister Michael Woodhouse

ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse says it's "ludicrous" that using modelling software to predict rehabilitation times for clients would be criticised as inappropriate or secret.

He also said there was no privacy issue that he could think of with the tool, which allows the corporation to filter and target clients who were not going back to work in the time expected.

However, the minister was unable to describe exactly what client information - such as gender and ethnicity - was used in the model, and did not know if it had been tested for bias.

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MSD staff used false names, fearing attacks

Ministry of Social Development staff have used false names on legal documents because they say they fear attacks by volatile clients.

The staff were on the ministry's Benefit Review Committee, which hears complaints from beneficiaries.

The Social Security Appeal Authority told the ministry's chief executive two years ago to stop the practice, but it continued.

The authority has now ordered the ministry to release the names, and referred its decision to the Solicitor General.

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Samoa national public inquiry into family violence begins

There is renewed hope that Samoa's national public inquiry into domestic violence which has begun this week will help find solutions to the problem.

The commission of inquiry is made up of five members chaired by the ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma who are hearing testimonies from victims and survivors.

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Dunedin man gets home detention for having sex with 15-year-old girl

A Dunedin man who seduced a 15-year-old girl over the internet has narrowly avoided a prison term.

Tyson Lee McKenzie, 20, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday having earlier admitted a count of sexual connection with a young person.

Judge John Macdonald said the grooming was ''very limited indeed'' and the age gap was at the lower end of the scale.

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School staffer charged, suspended after sex abuse claims

A staff member at an Auckland school has been charged and suspended from work after allegations of sexual abuse against a male student.

The Herald has learned that police started investigating the male staffer after the allegations came to light this month.

The man was arrested on September 12 and faces two charges relating to a boy under 16.

Read more...



Category: News Media