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Weekly Media Roundup

May 04, 2018 at 11:22 AM


A country in the grip of meth

A baby survives on Milo. A woman has her teeth knocked out. A grandfather avoids his own home. RNZ sent reporters and visual journalists out across New Zealand to chronicle daily life in a country teeming with methamphetamine.

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Meth use advice at Massey school: Drug Foundation responds

The Drug Foundation is backing an Auckland school which is under fire for issuing pamphlets to students which describe how to safely use methamphetamine. A new study out today says New Zealand is 'awash' with the drug, and it's so cheap and easy to get that it's now more available than cannabis. Yesterday media reported on outraged parents of Massey High School students whose children had been given the booklet. But Executive Director of the Drug Foundation Ross Bell supports the school's move and he's with me now...



Unresolved: Why New Zealand rape victims are being left in limbo

More sex crimes than ever are reported to police. But despite investigators’ efforts, the cases still aren’t getting to court.

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Report shows Family Court systems are failing

Family Court staff are stressed and struggling to deal with a growing workload, family lawyers are quitting and parents can't get decent legal advice.

A new report commissioned by the Ministry of Justice backs up the critics have been saying for years that the system doesn't work.

The reforms, which were introduced in 2014, were designed to produce a more efficient and effective system that was responsive to children and vulnerable people.

Parents in dispute over things like access to children and shared care were encouraged to resolve the problems themselves without having to go to court which can be adversarial and costly.

But new documents released on the Ministry of Justice website show the reforms have largely failed.

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Family Court reforms a failure: research

With the Government planning to review the Family Court, research has been released by the Ministry of Justice showing the previous reforms have largely been a failure. Shane Cowlishaw reports.

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Auckland Women Lawyers' group defends lawyer who questioned judge's domestic violence ruling

An investigation into an Auckland lawyer who criticised a judge's comments on a domestic violence case should not have started, the Auckland Women Lawyer's Association says.

Barrister Catriona MacLennan is being investigated by the Law Society's National Standards Committee for comments she made to media as spokeswoman for the Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children last year.

In December, MacLennan was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as commenting on Judge John Brandts-Giesen's decision to discharge a man without conviction who assaulted his wife, a male friend and his daughter.

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A chance to reverse our humiliating welfare system

An overhaul of our welfare system must include significant cultural change or MSD staff will continue to misapply the law and deny desperate people their entitlements, writes Catriona MacLennan

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Does the Government have any money for this Budget? Yes

EXPLAINER: Depending on who you ask, and when you ask them, the Government either has no money for the upcoming Budget or all it could ever need.

The Government has spent the last few weeks on a down-play tour, dousing hopes it was going to spend big in this month's Budget.

This all culminated with Health Minister David Clark on the weekend refusing to recommit to an election promise to bring GP fees down by an average of $10 by July 1. The change would still come - but it would be "phased in" over the three-year term.

So what's the truth? Does the Government have all the fiscal room in the world or have they spent it already? Let's take a look.

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'I was very upset and angry that I had been violated'

A lawyer who says she was raped by a senior male colleague while summer clerking, is telling her story to encourage others to come forward.

The Wellington Women Lawyers' Association has drawn up an anonymous survey asking people to detail any sexual assault or harassment they experienced while working in law, even if they're now out of the profession.

The new survey - which can be found here - was said to be broader and more detailed than similar surveys carried out this year, and would ask those filling it in to name where they were working when they encountered harassment or sexual violence.

Charlotte Shade was in her early 20s when she was assaulted by a senior colleague at a former workplace after a function.

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Benefit sanctions causing child poverty – advocate

Beneficiary advocates say the Government has no choice but to foot the hefty bill for removing sanctions if it wants to tackle child poverty.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said on Saturday sanctions on solo parents who don't name the other parent will be gone sometime in the next three years.

"That sanction needs to be dumped," she told Newshub Nation.

Around 17,000 children live in families affected by the sanctions, which see solo parents docked up to $28 a week per child. It'll cost an estimated $95 million over four years if the sanctions are scrapped.

Beneficiary advocate Karen Pattie says the penalty has to go, regardless of the price tag.

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The 'working poor' driving up demand for food parcels – Sallies

The majority of people asking for food parcels have never had to ask for help before, the Salvation Army says.

Community Ministries spokesperson Lindsay Andrews said the high cost of everyday living was creating a "working poor".

"We're seeing across the country 336 new families presenting each week so that equates to 60 percent of the families requesting help and given that a number of these are not on benefits, that's quite concerning."

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Opinion: Why are poverty rates shocking even as our economy grows?

OPINION: Poverty is a very real issue in our country and it's time we all took action with a collective approach, or we will all suffer the impact well into the future.

Between 2013 and 2017, our economy grew by 14 percent, but there has been no discernible change in child poverty rates.

We know that roughly 285,000 Kiwi kids are living in poverty and 100,000 of these are classed as living in severe poverty - and it’s not only children in families with benefit dependency.

The reality is around 40 percent of children living in poverty are from working households. We know that Māori and Pasifika families are over-represented in poverty statistics. We know that rising living costs means food and adequate heating are the first things to be skipped.

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West Auckland families warned of naked man watching school kids from bushes

Families in the West Auckland suburb of Te Atatu are being warned to watch out for a middle-aged naked man hiding in the bushes and watching kids.

A woman posted on the Te Atatu Peninsula's Facebook page she had picked up her niece and nephew from their primary school yesterday when she saw the man.

Waitemata Police are aware of the incident and are appealing for any locals with relevant information to get in touch.

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Abuse victim with broken ankle, collapsed lung was left untreated for a week

A woman with a broken ankle and a collapsed lung lay untreated in a Taranaki home for five days and police said she could have died from her injuries if she had not been found.

Justin Rangi Remihana's partner of 20 years was brutally assaulted by him on March 1, 2017 after an argument broke out over a lack of money and food in the house.

The attack included Remihana stomping on her right ankle with a steel capped boot and delivering multiple punches to her head and body, including her ribs.

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Women's Refuge 'made a real difference' to Kanoa Lloyd's family

The Project presenter Kanoa Lloyd knows first-hand what it's like to need Women's Refuge.

She was kindergarten age when she spent time in a refuge with her mother and her sister, describing it as "a brief blip on the radar" of her life. As a result, she says the organisation's work is, "critical and hugely impactful".

"It makes a real difference," she says, which is why she became an ambassador for the organisation earlier in the year, and why she's putting a money-can't-buy experience up for auction to support them.

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Research demonstrates effects of parental drug addiction

Claims that there is no research on the effects of parental P use on children is not correct.

A new article published this week in Kotuitui, the Royal Society’s journal of social sciences, demonstrates the effects of parental P (meth) addiction on grandparent carers and children.

Key findings about the 578 children affected by parental drug abuse include:

Drug use was the number one reason for children living with their grandparents;

Contact with parents was often sporadic and unsatisfactory, and a number of parents were dead, in prison or had moved away;

Drug addiction and alcohol abuse occurred together in 47% of cases;

The family broke down involuntarily in 47% of cases;

Other factors in the breakdown were parental mental health, child abuse and abandonment;

Many of the children have problems and these impact on family life;

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Behaving badly: Female prisoner numbers at Rimutaka nearly at same level as Arohata Prison

A population boom of female prisoners has been blamed on a spike in drug-related offending.

As it stands there are almost as many women behind bars in a separate unit at the site of a men's prison in Wellington as there are in the region's women's prison, Arohata.

A nationwide rise in the number of female prisoners - including those on remand and sentenced - has seen figures burst from 497 in 2009 to 812 as of last Monday.

A Corrections spokesperson said two-thirds of prisoners had suffered family violence, rape or sexual assault, more than half had post-traumatic stress disorder, and three-quarters have diagnosed mental health problems compared to 61 per cent of men.

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Anti-violence promotional posters to help campaign

An anti-violence campaign is under way in Gisborne with a series of promotional materials set to be distributed throughout the city.

The Champions Project, initiated by Violence-Free Tairawhiti Network, involves 40 community-nominated family violence prevention champions, who are the ‘go-to’ people for those with concerns about family violence.


The champions, representatives nominated from the community, become visible advocates for reducing family violence and encouraging people to ask for help early.

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Inside a youth prison: Where NZ's criminal teenagers end up

They're too young to go to prison but can't be in society. So how do you rehabilitate kids in custody? Meghan Lawrence goes inside Auckland's youth justice facility.

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Man who shot his girlfriend in the head may serve sentence without parole

A man jailed for shooting his girlfriend in the head may serve his time without parole, after racking up multiple misconducts and being reluctant to discuss his offending with other inmates.

Tuaine Llewellyn Bevan is nearing the end of a sentence of six years and eight months' jail for the manslaughter of Stacey Lake, who he shot in the head in 2011 as she lay on her bed.

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Convicted murderer jailed for historical indecent assault of young girl

A convicted murderer can now also be unmasked as a child sex abuser who robbed his young victim of her childhood.

On Friday, David Noel Roigard was jailed for three-and-a-half years on five charges of indecent assault on a girl under 12, offending committed in the early 1980s in Taranaki.

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Repair shop finds child exploitation images on elderly man's laptop

An elderly man has been caught with child exploitation images on his laptop after taking it to a repair shop.

The 77-year-old, who cannot be named, took his laptop and external hard drive to a repair shop in Blenheim.

A man working on the laptop three days later discovered four disturbing videos, and called police, a police summary said.

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Lawyers failing children in the Family Court system: survey

A survey from a women and children's rights advocacy group highlights major problems with those appointed to represent children in the Family Court system. Teuila Fuatai reports.

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Man jailed for indecently assaulting young children

A man responsible for historical indecent assaults involving four young children has been jailed, 16 years after the abuse first came to light.

Trevor Graham Albert De Cent, 52, previously pleaded guilty to nine offences, including multiple counts of indecent assault and a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, which were committed between 1995 and 2002.

At the time the children were aged between three and 13 years old and the assaults involved the defendant touching them and fondling their genitals.

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Wellington doctor accused of having sexual relationships with women patients

A Wellington doctor is facing multiple allegations of having sexual relationships with vulnerable women patients.

Deane Drew is facing a professional misconduct investigation involving four women patients from his central city practice, dating back to 1991.

The 64-year-old was suspended in April 2017 and is not currently practising — but 18 months since the first complaint was laid, the investigation is still ongoing.

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Marlborough Women's Refuge needs crisis helpline volunteers

Marlborough Women's Refuge urgently needs volunteers to help staff its vital 24-hour crisis telephone line.

Staff operate the current helpline but a growth in other services means more volunteers are needed to take calls from women in desperate need of help.

Manager Helen Lyons says the demand on all the refuge's services has been steadily increasing.

The charity helps more than 300 women and their children every year.

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Dunedin court hears claims that rape by stepfather began on 11th birthday

Warning: This article contains allegations of a sexual nature that some people may find upsetting.

A woman who claims she was repeatedly raped by her stepfather from the age of 11 said he would later hide her contraceptive pill.

''It was weird; it was like he wanted me to be pregnant,'' the complainant told police when she made a statement in November 2016.

''He would say I looked pregnant.''

The man accused of abusing her for four years from 2010 is on trial in the Dunedin District Court after denying three charges of rape, four of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and one of indecent assault.

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In the fledgling marae-based justice system, 'offenders' are instead called 'participants'

At court, offenders scarcely speak and hordes of people are processed in haste. At Iwi Community Panels, there's singing, hongi, hugs and participants - not offenders - are heard. For part three of the Turning of the Tide series, Carmen Parahi was granted a rare glimpse inside a panel.

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Sticks and Stones: Preventing bullying complex and legally fraught

There is "no fixed rule" for schools about reporting bullying and dissonance surrounding different parties' roles in preventing it, education sector sources say.

Parents, unsure who to call, often cast a wide net, inadvertently complicating future investigations – and their relationship with their child's school.

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Elderly man who drugged and raped second wife loses parole review

An elderly man who drugged and raped his second wife, and photographed the acts, has failed in a bid for freedom.

Neil Graham Pitceathly​, now 75, says he is nearly immobile and is safe to release. However the Parole Board, disagreed.

A jury in Tauranga found him guilty in 2009 of more than 200 charges covering rape, unlawful sexual connection, stupefying, and possessing intimate visual recordings, over about eight years. Most of the offences happened in Katikati.

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Two Auckland councillors want Henderson to become an eco-centre

OPINION: We have a plan for Henderson. We have never lost our passionate commitment to Henderson nor our belief that we need to retain the council building for council and community use.

It's called Unlock Henderson and is being driven by the city's urban regeneration agency, Panuku Development Auckland, in collaboration with us as ward councillors, Henderson-Massey Local Board, Auckland Transport, ATEED, and the business and local community.

We want to realise the vision for Henderson that we had back in Waitākere City Council days – for it to become an urban eco-centre. We have never stopped working on it. Urban regeneration takes time. Amalgamation into one council set things back years but we are now finally making progress.


Category: News Media