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Weekly Media Roundup

February 23, 2018 at 10:31 AM

A perpetrator can’t be a saviour: the state abuse historic claims system must go

Opinion: The announcement of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in state care has been met with praise and relief, but survivors may be worse off if the historic claims unit within the Ministry of Social Development is allowed to continue.


State abuse claims not best resolved by Royal Commission - Sir Michael Cullen

Former Attorney-General Sir Michael Cullen said he doesn't believe a Royal Commission of Inquiry is the best way to address historical claims of abuse in state care.

He also said New Zealand's legal system isn't set up to resolve claims like this.

"I have long held the belief that the adversarial system does not work to resolve these kinds of cases," he said in a written statement.


Excluding Church from inquiry would be an 'abject failure'

One of the world's leading authorities on child sex abuse in the Church says it will be a colossal waste of people's money if the government excludes churches from the Royal Commission into abuse in state care.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the inquiry would focus on those in state care because that's where the government has a duty of responsibility.


'I'm just a simple girl who likes to go to work' - NZer of the year Kristine Bartlett

Equal-pay advocate Kristine Bartlett is the New Zealander of the Year for 2018.

Ms Bartlett is one of six major award recipients who were honoured last night. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern presented her with the award at a gala ceremony at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland.

She told Morning Report she was in shock when she heard she had won the award.


Carmel Sepuloni: rebuilding the social safety net

Carmel Sepuloni has inherited Bill English's social investment approach. She's not throwing it out, but she'd prefer to rebuild the social safety net rather than just targeting those who might fall through. Thomas Coughlan reports.


Reforming the welfare state

OPINION: The Labour-New Zealand First coalition has signalled significant changes to our welfare state. The agreement between Labour and the Greens, for instance, commits the Government to overhaul the welfare system with the aim of lifting families out of poverty and ensuring that "everyone has a standard of living . . . that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities".

Reviewing the welfare system is timely. There have been major economic, social, cultural and technological changes since the last major reviews of the welfare state, such as the Royal Commission on Social Security in the early 1970s and the Royal Commission on Social Policy in the mid-1980s.

Our society is now more diverse, pluralistic and complicated. The population has grown, aged and urbanised. Income and wealth inequality have increased, while substantial gender inequalities persist.


Why Bill English’s big idea didn’t work

Self-professed policy wonk Jess Berentson-Shaw agrees with a lot of what Bill English said about welfare spending, but argues his big social investment idea failed because it was too narrow, paternalistic and complex for already-stressed people to deal with.


Mega prison plans head to Cabinet as Jacinda Ardern urged to keep Waitangi promise

It's being called Labour's first great test as Government - signing off on a $1 billion mega prison that will allow our overflowing prison population to expand even further.

The problem is the nation's finest academic minds on criminal justice issues are warning it will have impacts that directly contradict all the promises made by Corrections minister Kelvin Davis when he was in Opposition.


Crucial child custody report delayed 10 weeks

Wairapapa's chief social worker has been ordered to appear before a judge in Masterton to explain an almost three-month delay in providing a crucial report on a young girl.

The girl is living with her aunt*. The aunt and the girl's father* have been locked in a custody dispute for six months.

The state child welfare agency, Oranga Tamariki, was meant to have provided a section 132 report by the end of November. The report is a full social work report which helps a judge decide who a child should live with long term in a custody dispute, and normally takes six to eight weeks to compile.

Now Wairapapa's chief social worker for the agency has been summoned before a judge in Masterton this afternoon to explain the delay.


Why it's so expensive to be poor

It's expensive being poor.

Artist Sam Orchard learnt a lot about the subject during a stint out of work and drawing a benefit.

He's currently fully employed in the gig economy juggling three contracts, but he's aware there's no job security in gigging.

However, his interactions with Work and Income left Orchard so angry, he collected beneficiaries' stories compiling them in a gloriously illustrated report he delivered to MPs just before Christmas.


State of children found in synthetic cannabis house revealed

She thought it was a cigarette and not synthetic cannabis.

That's what the Rotorua woman convicted of two counts of child ill treatment after being found in a 'zombie' like state with her two children, one just eight-weeks-old, told the police.

Further details can be revealed from the police summary of facts into the August 2017 incident which will see the woman, who cannot be named, sentenced in April.


‘It’s grim. But this is a grim drug’: The synthetic drugs ravaging our most marginalised

A new documentary released by VICE today reveals an underreported public health crisis. Don Rowe talks to assistant producer James Borrowdale about Syn City, an in-depth look at New Zealand’s synthetic cannabinoid epidemic. 


National digs itself into child poverty hole

When it comes to child poverty in New Zealand, National should remember the adage: when in a deep hole stop digging, writes the University of Auckland's Susan St John


Recognition for family violence worker

A Taumarunui woman has been rewarded for her commitment to reducing family violence.

Family Violence Coordinator, Gabrielle Quirke has been awarded the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Police Fellowship.

Nominated by her colleagues, Quirke's 12-years work in Ruapehu was officially recognised in Wellington last week.

New Zealand Police spokesperson Elizabeth Evans said Quirke approaches her work with unparalleled levels of empathy and professionalism.


Male rape survivor: People called my attack 'divine justice'

The first time I tried to write this piece, it sounded like the hysterical screaming of a Hollywood thriller script, writes's Brandon Cook.

Then a voice in my head said, "What would your grandmother think?" The second time, I tried to "make it funny", but I came off sounding dishonest.

I don't want to sound dishonest, though. I want you to know that I'm serious. Because this isn't misery porn: This is rape.


Men’s hui to address issues

A men’s hui will be soon be making its way to the Waitaki district.

The idea behind the hui is to gather men from across the region who have an interest in making New Zealand violence-free.

Waitaki community safety development facilitator Helen Algar is the main organiser of the hui, which will be held at the Moeraki marae from March 16 to 18.


Christchurch postnatal depression survivor and psychologist team up to write book

At her lowest point, Sonya Watson thought about driving into a power pole to end her pain.

With her baby Jack screaming in the back-seat, Watson was sleep-deprived, anxious and depressed after a traumatic birth and six months caring for an unwell baby who would not stop screaming.

Nine years later, she has recovered from postnatal depression and is releasing a book on the topic she co-wrote with psychologist Kathryn Whitehead, who treated her at the Mother and Babies inpatient service in Christchurch.


Jailed doctor was accused of violating patient years ago, but case was dropped

A doctor abused patients while he was being investigated for sex offending by police and subject to chaperone conditions, a Stuff investigation has found.

In the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday, Dr Rakesh Chawdhry was jailed for four years and three months after being found guilty of 11 charges of indecent assault and one of sexual violation at a judge-alone trial.


Alleged child sex abuser warned by police about conduct towards children

A man charged with sexually abusing children in a small Rangitīkei town was warned by the local constable to keep away from girls he allegedly invited to stay with him, on the quiet.

Koran Death told the High Court at Palmerston North on Wednesday about issuing the order to Richard James Parkinson after talking to the mothers of three girls.

Parkinson is on trial, charged with offences relating to sexual abuse against two girls and two boys in Marton in the 2000s.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.


Bless the Child: New play takes a gripping, thought-provoking and tough look at abuse

Next week sees the premiere of a highly anticipated and award-winning piece of theatre that shines a light on New Zealand's most darkest shame – child abuse.

Bless The Child, written by Hone Kouka and directed by his partner Mīria George, will premiere at the New Zealand Festival on Wednesday, before showing at the Auckland Arts Festival in March.

It's expected to be gripping, thought-provoking and tough – but that's the way Kouka wanted it to be, for his mum.


Category: News Media