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Weekly Media Roundup

January 25, 2018 at 5:09 PM

An accountability checklist: how to tell if the new government is performing

It’s easy to forget pledges of the past. Ben Smith looks at a selection of policy areas, what was promised, and the tangible outcomes that might tell us whether they’re being honoured.

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Government announces mental health inquiry - 'nothing off the table'

The ministerial inquiry into mental health will take a specific look issues for Maori and other groups with poor outcomes, look at addiction services, and have a broad mandate to make recommendations where "nothing is off the table", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

Ardern announced details of the ministerial inquiry into mental health at her post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, with Health Minister David Clark by her side.

The inquiry is part of the Government's 100-day plan.

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Mental health inquiry: How will it work?

A ministerial inquiry into mental health and addiction has just been announced by the government. How will it work?

Health Minister David Clark said most of the hearings would be held in public, but there might be special circumstances.

"The inquiry has subpoena powers because we have heard from some people working in the sector that they feel vulnerable and that speaking the truth might be difficult in terms of their employment situation."

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A new approach to addiction

Substance abuse and mental health problems often go hand in hand. As a Government inquiry looking at both gets underway, Teuila Fuatai examines whether a more rehabilitative legal system is the answer.

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Mental health inquiry a blueprint for the future

An inquiry into the quality of New Zealand’s mental health and addiction services must set up a long-term blueprint for the troubled sector, experts say.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the terms of reference for the inquiry — a pledge from her government’s 100-day plan — on Tuesday, after Labour and other coalition parties campaigned on addressing the poor state of mental health services during the 2017 election.

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Mother whose son died on suicide watch welcomes mental health inquiry

Jane Stevens says the launch of a mental health inquiry has given her hope for the first time since her son's suicide three years ago.

The government announced the independent inquiry yesterday and the panel of experts will have just nine months to investigate a wide range of issues.

The six-person team, led by former Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson, will canvas addiction, suicide, psychiatric illness, mental well-being and ACC - and the Prime Minister has said nothing is off the table.

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'Staunch, earthy, wise': West Auckland politician Denise Yates dies

Long-serving west Auckland politician Denise Yates has died.

Yates, 77, was a member of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and had previously been its chairwoman.

Before the Auckland Super City was created in 2010, she had served as a member of the former Waitakere City Council and chairwoman of the former Waitakere Community Board.

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Tributes flow for Waitākere politician Denise Yates

A tough but kind political force in Auckland has died after a short battle with cancer.

Denise Yates was an advocate for the environment, labour and gay rights and was a Waitākere Ranges Local Board member when she died on January 23, aged 77.

She would also be remembered for her "tireless" community work in west Auckland, former Waitākere City mayor Bob Harvey said.

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Working mothers make great employees, so stop being an asshole about them

Jacinda Ardern’s plan to be both PM and a mum has prompted shrieks of outrage from some. What better example of the prejudice that many mums face when they go back to work, writes journalist and mother of two Sarah Stewart.

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Time to talk compensation for state care abuse

Prompt action by the new inquiry into abuse in the state care system and monetary redress could provide a measure of desperately needed justice, writes the University of Auckland's Dr Stephen Winter.

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Eight moves in eight years: What unstable housing is like for children

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A group of leading experts says factors that led to the targeting of Maori families by child-welfare agencies need to be a major part of any inquiry into abuse of children and vulnerable adults in state and out of home care.

The Government has made setting up such an inquiry one of the commitments for its first 100 days.

The experts - Victoria University associate professor in criminology Elizabeth Stanley, University of Auckland senior law lecturer Anaru Erueti, lawyer Sonja Cooper and NZ Centre for Human Rights director Rosslyn Noonan - say to be credible the inquiry needs to be a royal commission.

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Scared, anxious, 'absolutely sick': Rene Naufahu's victims speak out

This morning actor Lee Rene Naufahu was sentenced to one year of home detention for indecently assaulting six women.

The offending took place between 2011 to 2013 in Naufahu's Auckland acting classes.
He initially denied any wrongdoing - and his admission came just a week before he was due to go on trial in the Auckland District Court.

Today the Herald can reveal for the first time what the 47-year-old former Shortland Streetstar put his victims through.

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Victim of Rene Naufahu speaks out: 'No sentence can reflect the damage done'

A victim of sex offender Rene Naufahu says "no sentence can reflect the damage done" by the former Shortland Street star.

Naufahu, 47, was sentenced on Tuesday to a year of home detention for indecently assaulting six acting students. 

He had pleaded guilty to six charges of indecent assault in September 2017, after denying the allegations for months.

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Rene Naufahu case: Modelling agency director speaks

The director of an agency that organised acting classes for young models with sex offending former Shortland Street star Rene Naufahu was shocked when she learned of his "predatory" behaviour.

And she is urging others in the modelling and entertainment industry to speak up about abuse or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable.

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Fonterra  is the second  New Zealand organisation to earn a tick from domestic violence specialist organisation Shine.

The DVFREE programme is an accreditation that recognises a  company’s commitment to  providing support for their employees and raising awareness of family violence.

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The battle for admiration in a hero-worship world

Social workers are inextricably tangled with positive and negative readings of welfare. University of Auckland Associate Professor Liz Beddoe tries to pick a way forward for a profession that tries to balance not just public perceptions but their own.

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Man threatens to grind off woman's face during nightmare 9 days of domestic violence

A man threatened to rip off a woman's face with a power grinder during nine nightmare days of domestic violence.

On that day, a friend intervened to save her. On another, the couple's 7-year-old son tried to save his mum from a bashing.

Corey William Conrad threatened the friend and told his son to shut up – and the beatings and threats went on and on. 

Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland detailed all of them on Friday as he jailed 27-year-old Conrad for three years and five months.

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Cooks police urge victims to see through their cases

The police in the Cook Islands say most domestic violence victims abandon their complaints once the legal process gets underway.

However, an officer dealing with domestic violence Sharon Kareroa said if a victim wanted to withdraw a complaint it had to be done in court, not at the police station.

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Man with samurai sword told ex-partner and child they would die 'a luxurious death'

A samurai sword-wielding man who had taken his former partner and their child and led police on a high speed chase told the woman they would all die "a luxurious death".

Gary Ratima Karangaroa, 29, took the woman and their five-year-old daughter from a Hastings address at 1.30pm on August 6, last year, after threatening the woman with a samurai sword.

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Rich man, poor man: inequality gap grew in 2017, Oxfam report reveals

New Zealand's richest man added more than $4 billion to his coffers last year, as more Kiwis joined queues at food banks.

Internationally and locally, the divide between the haves and the have-nots grew in 2017, according to a new Oxfam report. 

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Ten years on horrific acts of violence towards adults, children remembered

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018.

I want to say a big thank you to all those who worked tirelessly over the festive season to keep our communities safer and support those in need.

That said, we need to remind ourselves of a few unpalatable facts: 

2018 is a big year in terms of reducing family violence.

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Project to help victims of violence in Vanuatu's remote areas

A pilot project has been launched by Vanuatu's justice ministry to help victims of violence who live in remote areas to get access to the justice system.

The project, funded by Australia, gives community volunteers in remote places the power to issue temporary protection orders for victims of domestic violence.

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Rotorua man jailed for impregnating mentally impaired teenager

A Rotorua man has been jailed for five years after impregnating a severely mentally impaired teenager - who had no idea how babies came into being.

Joseph Michael Stickings, 42, a painter and decorator, was earlier found guilty by a Rotorua District Court jury of exploiting a young person with a significant impairment by sexual connection.

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Bill English slams Government for getting rid of public service targets

National leader Bill English says the decision to scrap a set of public service targets will lead to "dumb and lazy government" with public servants "putting their feet up."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that her government would not pick up the Better Public Service targets brought in by the National government, but would instead set new targets around child poverty and other issues.

The first round of the targets was set in 2012, then revised in 2017.

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Catering for gender diversity isn’t that hard – just look at how businesses are handling it

Stats NZ’s decision to exclude sex, gender and sexuality from its upcoming census has come in for criticism from the queer community. But it turns out businesses in New Zealand – most recently Southern Cross Health Society – are already well ahead of the curve.

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Hawke's Bay Foundation grant helps children cope with violence

More children here are being helped to recover from witnessing domestic abuse, thanks to a funding boost from Hawke's Bay Foundation.

DOVE Hawkes Bay general manager Malcolm Byfield said a $3500 grant from Hawke's Bay Foundation would be used to help implement a programme aimed at the growing need to mitigate the impacts of family violence on children.

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Nathan Mikaere-Wallis runs workshop with Whanganui teachers on how the brain works

Two hundred Whanganui principals, teachers and teacher aides attended the first of two workshop sessions with lecturer Nathan Mikaere-Wallis on Tuesday.

Mr Mikaere-Wallis has been a lecturer at the Christchurch College of Education, lecturing in human development, brain development, language and communication and risk and resilience.

His presentations will explore how the brain works and how neuro-science can better inform teacher's day to day interactions with children and young people.

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Sometimes the only option is to remove a child from their family

In response to The Spinoff’s coverage of the baby with the broken bones, Oranga Tamariki’s Paul Nixon explains the careful process behind taking a child into state custody. 

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Category: News Media