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Weekly Media Roundup

October 20, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Getting ready for government

Brenda Pilott
National Manager 
Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA)

I’m writing this column as we near an announcement about which parties will form the next government.  It’s been a week since the final election results were declared and three weeks since the polls closed. 

Since MMP, there has never been a single-party government.  You would think we’d had enough time to get used to the process and timeframes for coalition-forming.  But if you read the newspapers, or listen to TV or radio commentators, you’d think this brief hiatus was a terrible imposition and really just a bit of grandstanding.

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Waru: The New Zealand film you need to see

Eight is enough

In the powerful new film Waru, art addresses social issues, with a dream team of Māori wāhine directors creating an elegiac eight-part examination of a young child’s death.

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The powerful Maori film taking on child abuse in NZ

When Kerry Warkia's 7-year-old got an infected scratch on his back, she immediately took him to hospital, but she wasn't expecting to be told off for it.

"[The nurse] just rained down on me like: 'This is disgusting, how can a mother treat her child like this, how could you have let this happen? You're not fit to be a mother'," Warkia recalls.

"In that moment I kind of thought to myself, wow, we really do carry this."

As a non-Pakeha mother, Warkia carries the weight of New Zealand's past with child abuse, and the conversations around race that are often a part of those cases.

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Waru: A remarkable five-star Kiwi drama

Waru is a remarkable New Zealand film of the highest quality and most-profound impact – and all the more remarkable because there is not just one main reason for this, but three.

First off, its troubling narrative revolves around a topic which is raw and devastating, and a scourge on our country's psyche: the death of a child at the hands of his caregiver. Specifically set in the context of the child's tangi, the narrative is woven from eight scenes, each shot as a 10-minute short film with distinct characters, all of whom are in some way affected by the tragedy. Add to this the fact that each sequence consists of one, perfectly-choreographed take, and the viewer is readily immersed in these individual stories of pain.

And finally, the most impressive aspect of Waru is that it is a collaboration between eight Māori women directors, who workshopped and wrote the sequence for which they would take control. What emerges is a fluid portrait of a community grappling with the ripples of tragedy.

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The baby with the broken bones

A baby girl with broken ribs is taken into government care; 14 months later her newborn brother is also taken into custody at an Auckland hospital. But the case is not as simple as it seems, writes Joris de Bres.

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Parents fight back after state takes two children with brittle bone disease

A young couple are fighting a decision to take their two children - one a newborn baby - into state care because of a suspected child abuse injury which they believe is due to brittle bone disease.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lost their daughter six weeks after she was born in the South Island in July last year because doctors considered the most likely cause of her broken ribs was "inflicted injury".

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Girls’ victory after Family Court protest

Two sisters whose father wants them placed in state care after their refusal to see him at the school holidays have won a victory in the Family Court, following a protest against it.

The sisters, aged 10 and 12, live with their mother and step-father in New Zealand and were ordered by the court to spend four days with their Australian-based father last week. Identified as Mr A, the medical professional – who can no longer practise in New Zealand – had flown here for the court-ordered contact which allowed him access during the day.

When his daughters refused to see him and protested, Mr A responded by filing a without-notice application to have them taken from their home and placed in in the care of Oranga Tamariki (CYFS).

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What did you just yell at me?

Every day, women with the temerity to go out onto our streets are subject to catcalling, harassment and abuse – and women who run have it especially bad, writes Megan Hunt.

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#MeToo: Because this is the world we live in

#MeToo. #MeToo. #MeToo.

My mother, my sister, my best friend. School friends, female colleagues, acquaintances. Pretty much every woman I know.

In response to the sexual assault and rape allegations made by an ever-growing number of women against film producer Harvey Weinstein, the words "Me Too" are trending on social media around the world.

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Measuring poverty: don’t miss the point

Jess Berentson-Shaw from the Morgan Foundation urges the new government to not just measure poverty, but measure improved lives

Great news. Whoever is in government next is going to start formally measuring child poverty, or more accurately the number of families with children in poverty (most children do not exist as separate autonomous units from their whānau).

While you may have thought getting people in government to agree to measuring poverty was hard work, just wait till they start arguing over which measures to use*.

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Boy, 14, detained in police cells for five days is released from custody after impressing judge

A 14-year-old boy arrested for a masked petrol station hold-up and kept in a "barren and desolate" police cell for five days has today been granted an early release after stunning officials with his behavioural turnaround.

A Youth Court judge was so dismayed to learn of the boy's detention at a Christchurch Central Police Station cell earlier this year that she went to visit it for herself.

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'I wasn't asking for it' - teary Jay-Jay Harvey opens up on sexual assault

The Edge radio host Jay-Jay Harvey became emotional as she spoke on-air about comments she received in the aftermath of her alleged sexual assault.

In her first time back on-air after a two-week hiatus in the wake of the September 30 incident, Harvey spoke more about the experience, in which she alleged her breasts were groped and she was pursued into her apartment building.

But she said the worst part of all was sceptical remarks from people who weren't there, and questioned why she sat in the front seat of the taxi.

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Our People: Jane Searle

Jaws have flapped, tongues clacked, teeth gnashed over it, some have marched against it but how many people really are constructively addressing this country's horrific child abuse tally?

Jane Searle is one who is. As chief executive of Child Matters, a government-contracted organisation dedicated to eradicating the abuse of our most vulnerable, Jane's at the coalface of this blight on New Zealand society, shamefully placing our country in the top tier of OECD countries where it's most rife.

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The Big Read: From wagging school to robbing dairies: Morrocco Tai's life of crime

He started off committing low-level crimes like wagging school and shoplifting.

But by age 15, Morrocco Mal Tai was well-known to police. He was robbing dairies, stealing cars and fleeing police - and wasn't ashamed about sharing his exploits on social media.

A police officer who dealt with him numerous times, described him as "the epitome of a Counties Manukau youth".

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Auckland primary teacher shortage hits new record

Auckland's primary teacher shortage has hit a new record as schools face a "perfect storm" of record migrant inflows, declining teacher trainees, and an exodus of staff who can't afford the city's housing costs.

The latest online edition of the Education Gazette lists 225 advertisements for at least 287 primary and intermediate teachers in Auckland, based on counting two vacancies for all notices that advertise more than one vacancy but don't specify how many jobs are vacant.

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From push to conviction: How Susan Mouat was sentenced for her husband's death, six years later

Bruce Mouat died after being pushed off a porch by his wife, Susan Mouat, but she wasn't charged with manslaughter until five years later. David Burroughs looks into how things played out that night and in the years that followed.

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Husband killer loses appeal over marital abuse

The Court of Appeal has rejected a convicted murderer's bid to bring new evidence to court that her dead husband had beaten and controlled her for many years in their marriage.

It has confirmed her life sentence with a 17 year minimum parole period for a plot hatched with her boyfriend to commit the killing.

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Mongrel Mob president sentenced to home detention

A Mongrel Mob president who assaulted his nephew after he failed to repay a loan to buy cannabis has been sentenced to seven months' home detention.

Hastings chapter president Rex Noel Timu, 50, appeared in the Napier District Court today after pleading guilty to assault, intimidation and demanding with menace last month.

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Category: News Media