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Weekly Media Roundup

March 02, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Social workers fear new bill will remove protections

Fears have been raised that a bill to make registration mandatory for social workers will be too easy for employers to get around.

Although there is widespread support for a rule that says social workers must be registered, many are urging the government to rethink its approach.

The bill essentially leaves it to an employer to decide which jobs will be called social worker positions.

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Single mothers on how the ‘mystery dad’ penalty harms their families

As part of the ongoing We are Beneficiaries project highlighting the realities of life on a benefit, artist Sam Orchard tells the stories of women who have refused to name their baby’s father – and been punished for their decision.

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Harder than meth: The drug that's killing Kiwis at an alarming rate

It used to be legal and was readily available in dairies around New Zealand.

Now it has been dubbed the drug that has ruined thousands of Kiwis' lives.

In 2017 the now illegal drug killed 25 people - and is now considered the deadliest illegal drug in New Zealand history.

Synthetic cannabis, better known as the "zombie drug", is being churned out in underground labs and is up to 70 times more potent than naturally-grown cannabis.

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Teen family violence survivor: I made it out, but other kids don't

To the world he was an assistant principal, sports coach, loving husband, dedicated father.

But behind closed doors he was a monster - beating, belittling, berating and bullying his wife and children every day.

"He was really, really abusive to us - mentally, emotionally and physically," his 18-year-old son told the Weekend Herald.

The teen spoke out about his abusive upbringing because he wants to raise awareness about family violence and let people know what it's like for kids growing up in volatile and fear-filled homes.

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Whirlwind start to political life for Murupara-raised Angie Warren-Clark

"Sorry if I have to put the phone down and cough," Angie Warren-Clark rasps over the phone from Wellington.

The Labour list MP is suffering from a cold - one that, ironically, forced her to miss a health select committee meeting.

She still sounds crook, but as she picks up steam on some of the issues important to her, the frog in her throat starts to wane.

It's been a massive few months for Papamoa-based Warren-Clark, 47.

She moved from her role as manager of Tauranga Women's Refuge to the world of politics, just scraping into Parliament as a list MP after special votes were counted.

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The countries closing their prisons

Last week Justice Minister Andrew Little said New Zealand's law and order policies of the past 30 years had been an abject failure.

He said the rapid rise in prison numbers has come because we've demanded tougher and longer sentences and that's simply led to worse offending and more people criminalised.

His comments followed an open letter from 32 criminal justice academics calling on the government to reject the building of a mega prison in Waikato that will hold up to 3000 inmates.

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Critical time for justice in NZ: Jarrod Gilbert

Dr Jarrod Gilbert from the University of Canterbury has likened Andrew Little's intent to reform the prison system, with the abolition of the death penalty by Minister of Justice Ralph Hanan in 1961. He says it's that big.

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What it’s like to be a solo mum searching for a rental

Rent Week 2018: Two tales from a small Tauranga community illustrate the challenges solo mums still face in the renting market.  

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The Side Eye: Renting in NZ means always moving out and never moving up

A cartoon about the importance of security of tenure.

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PM says Crown Law handling of abuse claims will be reviewed

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she doesn’t agree with Crown Law’s handling of a compensation claim made by a man who was abused as a child in state care.

While she said she wouldn't comment on specific cases, Ms Ardern said Crown Law's handling of such claims would be looked at by the Royal Commission.

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PM faces claims over exclusion of churches from abuse inquiry

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says state care survivors did not want their cases "diluted" by the Royal Commission looking into abuse by the Church.

A father and son who say leading Catholic clergymen sexually abused them as schoolboys are accusing the Prime Minister of going back on her past assurances about including religions institutions in the inquiry.

The terms of the upcoming Royal Commission on abuse in state care excludes institutions such as churches - unless children were sent to them by the state.

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Abuse survivors speak out, accuse govt of backtracking

A father and son who accuse leading Catholic clergymen of sexually abusing them] as schoolboys are also accusing the Prime Minister of going back on her past assurances.

The two say the upcoming Royal Commission is this country's once-only chance to call the Catholic Church to account for child sex crimes, but that chance is slipping away.

This is the first time the men have spoken publicly about their experiences, as a war of words intensifies over whether the Royal Commission should exclude non-state institutions.

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Jackie Clarke: Working with The Aunties and the women who need us

We are thrilled to have a column from Jackie Clarke who runs a not-for-profit organisation called The Aunties. Their primary focus is to meet the material needs of vulnerable women within the community. Visit their page www.facebook.com/refugeaunties for regular updates. We look forward to seeing more Conversations from Jackie so keep an eye out for her columns. 

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Women's Refuge shocked by response to survey

Women's Refuge has had a 'frightening' response to its online survey about links between suicide or self harm and domestic violence.

Six hours after posting the survey on Facebook yesterday, it received 135 responses, a much higher uptake than Women's Refuge expected.

While the survey was self-selecting and non-scientific, chief executive Ang Jury said the number of responses had both surprised and scared her.

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Russell McVeagh and the limits of the law

Revelations of alleged sexual harassment by a former partner at Russell McVeagh underscore the unique privilege of the legal profession. “Abusers don’t need to tear through the law because their very relationship with the law protects them,” writes Danyl Mclauchlan.

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How the legal profession has excused and minimised the Russell McVeagh scandal

It’s the biggest scandal to rock the legal profession in years. Yet the official response to the Russell McVeagh revelations has been woefully inadequate, says special counsel Linda Clark.

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I thought my bully deserved an awful life. But then he had one.

Now, as an adult, looking at the fate that befell my bully - a perverse fulfillment of a childhood prophesy, one that left him dead at 25 - I realize how problematic and how ingrained that thinking is. In the past few years, our culture has started to see bullying as a serious problem, one whose victims need help, support and protection. As for the bullies? They're the bad guys. Why they bully doesn't matter, only that they get what they deserve in the end. But this paradigm only further stigmatizes children who need help in their own right.

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The Spinoff’s official inquiry into all the new government’s reviews and inquiries

Has the government been too keen to go for working groups, panels and inquiries, over actual action? Alex Braae counts the announcements. 

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Little asks Law Commission to look at abortion law

Justice Minister Andrew Little has asked the Law Commission for advice on reworking New Zealand's abortion law.

The current law is more than 40 years old and the government has indicated it wants abortion to be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal one.

He said the government believed the sense of criminalisation in place around abortion should not be there, and made the law unfit for the 21st century.

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Our unwritten constitution gets extra bark

Senior courts will soon be able to advise the Government legislation is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. The coalition hopes that will add another check to governmental power, but Thomas Coughlan reports this may just add bark to our ultimately toothless constitution. 

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How 'toxic masculinity' doesn't even scratch the surface of the issue

OPINION: I don't like the term "toxic masculinity" that pops up so often in the strange and dangerous world of sexual politics.

It's not because I disagree with the meaning of the words. The issue is they're too small to describe such a huge problem in society, too easily dismissed by white supremacists, men's rights activists and anti-feminists as somehow hysterical and trivial.

Basically, toxic masculinity means traditional male norms of behaviour ultimately result in harm to men, those close to them and the world we live in.

Perhaps a better way of expressing it would be "The Enforced Performance of 'Manhood' Is Directly Responsible For a Worldwide Bloodbath of Domestic Violence, Murder And Male Suicide."

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Boy speaks of waking to find man inappropriately touching him

A teenage boy says a man forced him to skol alcoholic drinks before he was able to eat dinner, and later awoke in a bed to find the man trying to inappropriately touch him.

But Richard James Parkinson denies doing anything of the sort to the boy or three other children he is accused of abusing.

Parkinson is on trial in the High Court in Palmerston North, having pleaded not guilty to 30 offences relating to the alleged abuse against two boys and two girls in the Rangitīkei town of Marton in the 2000s.

The charges include rape, attempted rape, assault with an airgun, threatening to kill and supplying alcohol to minors.

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Child abuse cases increasing in Porirua as mayor turns to prime minister for help

Child abuse cases have increased in Porirua, according to a new report that shows the city is bucking the national trend in this area.

Porirua City Council's second annual status report on its children and young people has found there were 213 substantiated findings of abuse against people under the age of 25 in Porirua in the year to June 30, 2017.

That equated to 41 more cases of abuse compared to the previous 12 months. The term "abuse" encompasses emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect.

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Northland man who viciously bashed and degraded partner sentenced to home detention

A Northland mother was subjected to a prolonged beating by her partner while there were children in the house, including choking her with such force she thought she would die.

The vicious abuse had degraded the woman in front of her children and she had bravely decided that 'enough was enough' after ongoing violence, the sentencing judge said.

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Wairarapa social workers diverted from frontline - judge

Wairarapa social workers are being diverted from frontline work to finish reports, according to a Family Court judge's minute released this afternoon.

Judge Catriona Doyle issued the minute today after the Masterton manager of Oranga Tamariki was summoned to court on Monday to explain why a crucial report about a young girl was long overdue.

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MPs urged to consider lowering voting age to 16

The Children's Commissioner has urged MPs to consider lowering the voting age to 16.

Judge Andrew Becroft said the number of young people engaging with democracy and voting was too low.

In the last election nearly 400,000 people below 29 did not vote - that's around half the amount of young people.

Mr Becroft told a Parliamentary Select Committee that New Zealand had done a poor job involving children in policy processes.

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Three years, four months jail for child abuse blogger

A man who hoarded, traded and posted online hundreds of images of children being abused and raped has been jailed for three years and four months.

Waikato man Justin Wayne Winn, 44, was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court on Monday on one representative charge of possession of an objectionable publication and six charges of knowingly making or copying objectionable publications - some of which were also representative.

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Taranaki man found guilty of throwing boiling water over woman's back

A Taranaki man has been found guilty of throwing boiling hot water at his partner, which left splash burns across her upper back.

After three hours of deliberation a jury found Quaid Darryl Clement guilty of charges of disfiguring with intent to injure, breaching a protection order and common assault.

He was found not guilty of assault with intent to injure, which related to an allegation that he had attempted to strangle his on-again, off-again partner of 13 years.

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Brutal murder of Tirau grandmother Roma Joseph remains unsolved

On a placid street in the bustling antique town of Tirau, there's a tugging sense of unease. 

No-one likes to talk about what happened to Roma Joseph.

Many of the aging population that inhabit the pensioner flats dotted along the short alcove a block back from State Highway 1, just can't stomach it.

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The Big Read: Riverhead quarry attack - from glittery cocktails to terror in the dark

Today a jury found Colin Jack Mitchell guilty of kidnapping a 23-year-old woman from central Auckland, driving her to a deserted quarry west of the city and assaulting her. Senior crime and justice reporter Anna Leask looks back at the trial and tells the story of the fateful night a young woman crossed paths with her attacker, and how she got away.

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Category: News Media