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Weekly Media Roundup

January 18, 2018 at 3:44 PM

PM on abuse inquiry: 'We need to be open about our mistakes'

Despite calls to broaden the government's inquiry into abuse of children in state care, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the focus should stay on the role that the state played.

The Labour-led government has promised to set up an inquiry, but groups of survivors want its scope broadened to cover places like religious institutions and sports clubs.

The wide-ranging inquiry into child abuse held in Australia recently did cover these aspects and found the majority of children sexually assaulted were abused in faith-based institutions.


Catholic Church disappointed state abuse inquiry won't be extended

The Catholic Church is disappointed a Government inquiry into the abuse of children in state care may not widened to include faith-based institutions, including itself.

When the Labour-led government plans to set up an inquiry, members of the Catholic Church threw their support behind the move. 

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told RNZ the primary role of an inquiry would be to focus on the state's responsibility.


Abuse survivor backs call to include faith-based institutions in Govt inquiry

A man abused at a St John of God school backs calls for a government inquiry into state care child abuse to include faith-based institutions.

The government has promised an inquiry within its first 100 days in office, but many are concerned it will miss the scale of historical child abuse if it is limited to state-owned or affiliated institutions.

Darryl Smith, who attended Marylands School in Christchurch in 1971, told RNZ the abuse he suffered by the headmaster of the school deeply traumatised him.


A Dunedin survivor of historic abuse in state care says the number of prosecutions resulting from a national listening service is ''a joke''.

Figures released to the Otago Daily Times, following an Official Information Act request, showed just two offenders had been successfully prosecuted as a result of referrals to police by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS).

The CLAS panel, launched in 2008, travelled the country to hear from about 1100 people - 57% of whom said they had been sexually abused in state care - before issuing its final report in 2015.

However, information released to the ODT by Detective Inspector David Kirby, the national manager of the police's sexual violence and child protection unit, underscored the difficulties in securing convictions for historic offending dating back to the 1950s.


Australia child abuse inquiry: 'It is a national tragedy'

A five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, making more than 400 recommendations.

The royal commission uncovered harrowing evidence of sexual abuse within institutions, including churches, schools and sports clubs.

Since 2013, it has referred more than 2500 allegations to authorities.

The 17-volume final report, made public today, makes wide-ranging proposals to be considered by legislators.


Tragic deaths must not mean surveillance

The Minister for Children Tracey Martin is right to oppose the call by the Bay of Plenty coroner Wallace Bain for a register and monitoring of all children from birth to five. Dr Bain made the call in a report following his investigation into the tragic death of Moko Rangitoheriri.  

While it is understandable that people are outraged and deeply upset by the horrific death of this young child, many will also feel that mass surveillance of young families is not the right answer.

It is a knee jerk reaction which makes the potentially dangerous assumptions that registration and monitoring will be effective– i.e. no more deaths at the hands of caregivers.


Oranga Tamariki looks to recruit more social workers

Oranga Tamariki - the Ministry for Children - is needing more than just a new name, it needs to fill more than 100 social work jobs too.

It has hired about 200 social workers since changing from Child, Youth and Family nine months ago, bringing the number to about 1200, but it is still short.

Spokesperson Jo Harrison said the ministry - which will drop the world 'vulnerable' from its name today - still faced issues in trying to recruit more Māori social workers and retain people outside of large cities.


Ending solo mum sanction could cost govt $25m a year

Scrapping a sanction against some solo mums will cost more than $100 million over four years and could result in fewer parents paying child support, ministry officials say.

Single parents who refuse to identify the other parent have $22 deducted from their benefit every week per child. After 13 weeks, another $6 per family is docked.

The policy was introduced in 1990 to ensure fathers paid child support.

The Labour-led government last year confirmed it would repeal the penalty, saying there was no evidence it worked.


Child poverty miscalculation an 'extremely rare' error - Treasury

A miscalculation in Treasury's child poverty figures is an "extremely rare" error in one line of code among thousands, says the deputy secretary.

Treasury yesterday confirmed that it had likely overstated how many children would be lifted out of poverty as a result of the government's Families Package.

Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf yesterday apologised for the error and ordered an independent review into how it happened.

Officials had estimated Labour's plan would lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021.

The extent of the error - which also affected a National package - is still being determined.


Police appealing Judge's decision to discharge Queenstown man over domestic assault

Police have filed an appeal against a decision by a South Island judge to discharge a man without conviction after he was charged with violently assaulting his wife.

The man had also been charged with assaulting one of his children and a male friend.

The incident came after the 58-year-old - who has name suppression - saw a text message between his wife and his mate, declaring their love for each other.


Blind justice: reimagining a mana wāhine legal system

A bold new book sees women rewriting historical judgments and dismantling how our legal framework is seen in indigenous and feminist terms.


Healthy conflict makes families stronger

Managing family conflict is crucial to improving child well-being in New Zealand, writes Dr Nickola Overall.

Directly engaging in conflict, even when it involves anger and hostility, can help resolve problems and improve relationships. The challenge for parents is to ensure conflict within their own family remains ‘healthy’ and does not harm their children.

Alarmingly, New Zealand ranks at the bottom of the EU/OECD in child well-being – a measure which is drawn from aspects of children’s lives including psychological health, peer bullying and family conflict. Improving our child well-being statistic hinges on creating healthy families and therefore it is crucial we identify how to manage family conflict.


Parenting programme a success in Northland

A culturally adapted parenting programme for Māori families in Northland is reducing parental conflict and improving children's behaviour, a new study shows.

Te Whānau Pou Toru is a parenting programme adopted from the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program which the United Nations rates as the world's leading parenting program.

Ngāti Hine Health Trust teamed with the University of Auckland and the University of Queensland, which started the Triple P Program, to develop Te Whānau Pou Toru.


Government to roll out specialised drug and alcohol courts from 2018

Courts dedicated to drug and alcohol related offences are to be rolled out across New Zealand in 2018.

These specialised courts work with people through their journey of addiction, not just treat them as another cog in the justice system, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. That's why he is exploring with various Ministries the benefits of making the courts a permanent fixture.


The baby with the broken bones: an update

The newborn baby taken from his parents by Oranga Tamariki at an Auckland hospital last year is coming home, but their daughter remains in state custody. Joris de Bres follows the family’s fight to get their children back. 


Moko's CYFs manager admits 'there were loads of things we could have done better'

Tayelva Petley and her partner spent a decade running a family home for children who were escaping violent and abusive relationships.

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children - Oranga Tamariki Bay of Plenty regional manager says she helped nearly 300 children in their journey to safe homes. 


Gandhi Nivas: keeping South Asian families safe

'Don't take the women and children out of the home – put the man in a safe place instead', is the philosophy of Gandhi Nivas – a family violence facility in Otahuhu. The first centre has been so successful in a second will open early next year.

Gandhi Nivas came about after a series of tragic homicides within the Indian community in 2014.

Fifty-five percent of protection order breaches were being committed by men from South Asian backgrounds and of the 14 women killed in domestic violence cases that year, four were Indian. A solution was needed and the response was innovative, effective and simple.

“Don’t take the women and children out of the home – put the man in a safe place instead", says community leader Ranjna Patel.


Finnish runner doing 50 ultra marathons to visit Northland for domestic violence awareness

Fifty ultra marathons in 50 days is the challenge Emilia Lahti is taking on to start a conversation about domestic violence.

The Ironman New Zealand finisher will be running the length of New Zealand, a whole 2400km, from Bluff to Cape Reinga. The Finnish researcher will begin her run on January 18.

Along her route, she will be stopping off at 15 towns, including Kaitaia on February 26 and Whangarei on February March 2, to generate conversation about the too familiar topic of domestic violence. 


'Life changing' financial literacy programme helps hundreds

A programme which helps Pasifika people under severe financial pressure is so successful it met one of its annual targets in five months.

Vaka Tautua runs free financial literacy programmes for at risk Pacific families.

They are referred to the agency if they have a family member who is disabled or they are struggling with family violence and housing problems.

In the three years it's been running, it has empowered more than 400 Auckland families.


Turning male violence around at Tauawhi Men’s Centre

Tairawhiti has one of the country’s highest rates of family violence callouts relative to its population. The Tauawhi Men’s Centre is one of many organisations here seeking to turn that around, with a goal to make this region violence-free. Michael Neilson speaks to some of those involved to share their story.


Christchurch GP Rakesh Chawdhry found guilty of 12 sex offences against patients

A Christchurch doctor has been found guilty of 12 sex offences against patients as police investigate further sexual misconduct claims against him.

The new complaints emerged during the trial of Rakesh Kumar Chawdhry last year. Stuff has also found evidence of possible sexual harassment of a woman by Chawdhry when he worked at a dental clinic in Auckland more than 10 years ago and family and business connections with disgraced former Christchurch police officer Sanjeev Kala. Kala was convicted of a fraud-related charge in 2016.

Chawdhry pleaded not guilty to charges relating to 14 men he treated while working at the Riccarton Clinic between 2011 and 2015. His judge-alone trial ended in November. The men testified that Chawdhry groped or fondled them during a physical examination.


Women's refuge experiencing busiest period of the year with services stretched

Across the country, around 165 women and children who are fleeing domestic abuse seek shelter every night across 41 Women's Refuge sites. 

Megan Grace from Auckland Women's Refuge told 1 NEWS "there's nine refuge's across the Auckland region but as far as I'm aware they're all full."

"There are no vacancies and it's been that way since Christmas," Ms Grace said. 


One third less family violence reported in South Taranaki over festive season

A new plan to tackle family violence in South Taranaki appears to be bearing fruit, with a third less incidents recorded over the festive season than last year.

Traditionally Christmas is a time when violence in the home can flare up and Sergeant Dan White, head of youth services and family violence in South Taranaki, said officers did "a bit of lead up work" before December 25  in an effort to minimise the risk.


Whanganui family violence rise over holidays - police and Women's Refuge

Family violence incidents in Whanganui have soared over the holiday period, with police attending multiple calls a day.

Women's Refuge Whanganui practice manager Jo said it had been the busiest holiday period for the refuge in six years.


'Irrational and volatile, and very possessive' - radio star opens up about domestic violence

He was controlling, possessive, violent and volatile.

She desperately wanted to leave him but stayed, living in fear and hoping he would change.

But one day NZME radio host Lorna Subritzky knew the time had come.

She'd had enough of being hurt - she wanted out.

This week she opened up for the first time about her personal experience with domestic violence.



Category: News Media