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Weekly Media Roundup

May 11, 2018 at 10:59 AM

Significant funding boost for family violence services

Social services dealing most directly with the harm caused by family violence will get much needed support as the Government boosts funding to front line agencies for the first time in ten years.

 “Nearly half of those receiving the increase are women’s refuges who provide vital support keeping women and children safe,” said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

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Frontline domestic violence services get first boost in 10 years

Government-funded family violence services will get a funding boost of $76.2 million over four years to help improve child and family wellbeing.

New Zealand has one of the worst rates of family violence in the OECD, with police attending about 120,000 callouts a year.

The extra money, which amounts to an increase of almost 30 per cent, will give a boost to about 150 providers of family violence services across the country.

This will be the first boost for frontline agencies in 10 years.

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Church abuse victims resigned to being left out of inquiry

Church abuse survivors have resigned themselves to being excluded from the upcoming Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The public consultation period about how the inquiry should run wrapped up a week ago and its chair Sir Anand Satyanand has begun going through the 300 submissions.

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Plea for adoption inquiry: 'I tried to photograph her with my eyes'

An investigation into forced adoption is on the Prime Minister's agenda, including a possible inquiry. Nicholas Jones reports on a traumatic chapter in New Zealand's history.

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Child poverty: Commissioner says politicians can undo 30 years of damage

Politicians have the chance to undo 30 years of failing to put children first, an impassioned Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft says.

The current state of things is dire, he told politicians on both sides of Parliament at Select Committee on Wednesday.

"When you look at the statistics, the numbers on youth suicide, very high on domestic violence, child abuse, how else could it be phrased other than being dire?"

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Editorial: NZ needs to make progress on reducing sexual assaults

Revelations - in a Herald investigation published last week - that 20 years of rape cases were written out of official data with the stroke of a pen are shocking.

The sex offences - thousands of them - were dismissed simply by labelling them "K3 - no crime". These were assaults put in the too-hard basket by police; ones in which there was limited evidence, in which the victims were intoxicated, or where consent was unclear - some 15 per cent of sex crimes.

The coding took place until as recently as 2013 - a decade after the issue was flagged by Victoria University criminologist Jan Jordan. It had pernicious effects; distorting statistics so it appeared fewer sexual assaults were being reported, keeping the "unresolved" rate artificially low, and (because the assaults were put in the same category as the small number of false rape complaints) making thousands of women look like liars.

It also let potentially thousands of perpetrators off the hook.

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Otago's mental health problem: Children as young as 10 suicidal

Rising numbers of young Otago people with mental health problems - including children as young as 10 with suicidal tendencies - are challenging schools and tertiary institutions, providers say.

Last year, the University of Otago decided to restructure its student mental health services due to growing demand for mental health appointments.

Otago Polytechnic is now also working on its mental health strategy, in response to students' increasing need for support.

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Father of murdered baby jailed over years of abuse

A man whose baby daughter was murdered after months of systematic torture at the hands of a babysitter has himself been sent to prison for 10 years for the long-term physical and sexual abuse of two young children.

Ike Mokohoria Te Awa was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to 20 charges of sexual and physical abuse involving two children and his partner.

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Weekend's most read: Lawyer facing investigation for questioning judge's domestic violence ruling unapologetic

Lawyer Catriona MacLennan who is facing a Law Society hearing as a result of her criticism told Corin Dann on TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand judges need a lot more training in domestic violence law.

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Resentenced for three assaults

A man who had a discharge without conviction for assaulting his wife, daughter and an associate overturned by the High Court has been ordered to pay $3000 in emotional harm reparation.

The 58-year-old, granted final name suppression, was also fined $300 and ordered to pay $130 court costs at his resentencing before Judge Alistair Garland in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

The man was granted a discharge without conviction by Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court in December. However, that was appealed by police in January.

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More than 300 students disciplined for taking a weapon to school

Children as young as five are bringing weapons into New Zealand schools.

Ministry of Education figures released under the Official Information Act (OIA) revealed a 5-year-old was stood down for the use or possession of a weapon in a school in 2017.

A 6-year-old was the youngest child to be kicked out of school for taking a weapon to school.

The OIA revealed that more than 300 school students had been formally disciplined because of weapons in 2017, including 200 under the age of 12.

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Father accused of raping son speaks of regret after abuse and beatings

A father who has confessed to abusing his wife cried in the dock while describing how he also beat his son, but denies raping him. 

He sobbed as he spoke of not been involved as a parent and of his failed marriage, as he was questioned by a defence lawyer at the Palmerston North District Court on Wednesday.

But he repeatedly denied his son's descriptions of being raped and abused. 

"I know I wasn't a good father. The physical violence I gave [my son] was totally wrong, but the long term pain that boy has suffered as a result of the way I treated his mother was far worse than physical or verbal violence I dished out to [him]." 

Exclusive Brethren church meetings dominated the family's life, with pressure every weekday evening after work to get the whole family to a gathering, as well as morning meetings most Saturdays, and an intense day-long church schedule on Sundays.

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Removing the conditions on welfare works

There is a truck load of data showing that when there are few or no conditions placed on people living on insufficient incomes and receiving income support, the outcomes are very positive. Why? Because most of us don’t actually want to live on insufficient incomes. Yet if the level of support we get is barely enough to scrape by on, we have very limited capacity to thrive. Insufficient financial and other support (which harsh benefit conditions leads to) limits people’s choices and ability to overcome their situation. They cannot upskill easily, they must take work that is low paid and precarious, or get into relationships they may not be comfortable or even safe in.

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Drunken fatal stabbing result of woman's traumatic life at hands of partners

She had just been thrown across the room by her drunken husband who then held a knife to her throat.

Gerald Wiremu Waa then put down the knife and continued to beat Carol Takua Waa in their Te Aroha St, Hamilton flat.

Waa escaped his grasp then picked it up and drove it 9cm into his chest, before throwing it in the kitchen sink and running to her neighbours.

Waa, 62, was originally charged with her husband's murder but she admitted a downgraded plea of manslaughter in the High Court at Hamilton in February.

She was sentenced to 12 months' home detention on that charge by Justice Gerard van Bohemen today who described her "horrific" life of physical and emotional abuse.

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Trapped in a foreign land and a violent marriage

Khalida had the phone in her hand to call the police.

Her husband had just hit her for the first time.

He tore the phone from her hand and beat her with it.

"He told me 'the police will take 10 minutes to get here, that's enough for me to kill you. And here I won't get the death penalty."

The Palmerston North woman never thought she'd be the type to endure domestic violence for years.

Women's Refuge Palmerston North manager Danielle Berry said it was working on changing so refugee and migrant women felt comfortable coming to shelters,

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Jail for burning woman with boiling water

A Taranaki man has been jailed for disfiguring his partner of 13 years with boiling hot water.

Quaid Daryl Clement was imprisoned for three years and three months when he appeared before Judge Chris Sygrove at New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday.

It took a jury three hours to find the father-of-four guilty of charges of disfiguring with intent to injure, breaching a protection order and common assault in February.

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Porirua parents have charges against them thrown out over brain injured twin babies

A lack of evidence has seen charges dropped against the Porirua parents of twin babies who had brain injuries consistent with "rapid" shaking.

At the Wellington District Court last week, Judge Peter Hobbs dismissed the charges against parents Kyle Henare Hotai and Tunushia Wikitoria Schuster - jointly accused on two counts of failing to provide proper parental care.

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Exclusive: Nude photos of child sex victim banned, deemed 'objectionable'

A child sex victim has won her fight to get nude images of her - taken by her mother when she was a young girl being subjected to abuse - banned and classified as objectionable.

In April last year the Herald revealed the woman was seeking the removal of a number of photographs of herself from prominent New Zealand galleries.

The images were taken by her mother and another woman - both artists.

Several of the photographs show the young "subject" completely naked.

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Exclusive: 'Sinister, abhorrent, gross' child sex offender jailed

A sinister, abhorrent and entitled sexual deviant has been jailed for 16 years for the prolonged sexual abuse of two children.

Vailea Pola must serve at least half of his sentence before he can apply for parole - and will be deported to Tonga as soon as he leaves prison.

Pola was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today after earlier being convicted on 15 charges relating to the sexual abuse of two young people spanning a five-year period.

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Category: News Media