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Weekly Media Roundup

August 03, 2018 at 11:42 AM

Panel appointed to rewrite Family Court reforms

The Government has formed a panel to rewrite its predecessor’s Family Court reforms, with Justice Minister Andrew Little saying too many people feel traumatised after going through the current system.

The announcement comes almost a year after Newsroom’s Taken by the State investigation, which detailed flaws within the family justice system and revealed disturbing footage of children carried away by police.

Speaking to media on Wednesday afternoon, Little said the panel would be made up of former Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan, acting as chair, and family law experts La Verne King and Chris Dellabarca. It would also be supported by an expert reference group.

He was keen for the panel to take a human rights approach to rewriting the reforms, saying women - particularly victims of domestic violence - and men did not feel like they were being heard.

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Hutt Valley Oranga Tamariki under fire over suspected delays

A Family Court judge raised issues around child protection in the Hutt Valley three times with Oranga Tamariki, highlighting concerns with delays in its response time.

An Official Information Act response from Oranga Tamariki shows that three times - in January, February and June - Judge Tim Black ordered for his minutes to be sent to the department's chief executive Grainne Moss. RNZ has requested a copy of Judge Black's minutes.

The OIA indicates the minutes raised concerns about children in care and delays at the Hutt office.

Four family lawyers RNZ spoke to said this was unusual.

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Once Were Warriors star Pete Smith breaks his silence

It was the revelation that rocked the motu.

When Te Awanuiārangi Black's former wife took to Facebook to call for survivors of sexual abuse to speak their truth, it reverberated far and wide.

Now others are stepping forward to share their stories of abuse.

Pete Smith became one of the most recognised faces in New Zealand film following his breakout role as Dooley in Once Were Warriors.

What many don't know is Smith too has been a keeper of the secret - a victim of sexual abuse.

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#MeToo and more generous support for sexual abuse survivors lead to spike in people seeking help

The #MeToo movement and more generous support for sexual abuse victims has increased the number of people seeking treatment in New Zealand by 88 per cent.

ACC is now receiving 21 claims a day which are related to mental or physical injuries from rape and sexual violence, up from 11 a day in 2013.

The large increase in people making sensitive claims in the last five years is stretching treatment services.

As a result, ACC is asking contracted providers to consider letting interns and newly-graduated counsellors take on sexual assault victims – a job which is usually left to more experienced staff.

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Psychologist: Growing issue of child violence at school starts in the home

Child psychologist Sara Chatwin says a NZEI report by the primary teachers union, that says 41 percent of senior teachers were subjected to violence last year, is spot on and the issue is a growing one. 

She told Kerre McIvor that the source of the problem lies with serious dysfunction in the family structure and stems from children's experiences of violence, neglect, drug abuse and just 'slipping through the love-net'.

"They learn violence in the home, they see it, they imitate it at school. So when it presents at school you're some way down the track, that's not where it starts, it started a long time before that."

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Helping the vulnerable is preferable to punishing them because they are

OPINION: Have you ever been in a job you dreaded showing up to work for?

There's any number of reasons that could be the case, I know, and as a relatively well-educated white dude, I'm well aware I haven't experienced many of them.

But there have been a couple of relatively short periods – well past now - when I constantly felt uneasy about going to work because of what I call "rug-pull syndrome".

I certainly wasn't persecuted, but it felt like an atmosphere of unpredictability pervaded the workplace, a perception that, at any moment, the rug might be pulled from under me, which made me jumpy. In one of those shortlived historic situations, it threatened to turn into full-blown anxiety.

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Lindisfarne College stands up to violence against women

Just over a year ago, Lindisfarne College launched a project to support Women's Refuges across Hawke's Bay.

Since then they have provided more than 300 Care Packs to women in refuges and fully restored the gardens of the Women's Refuge in Hastings.

It was at a child protection conference at the start of the 2017 in Napier, followed by a boarding conference in Auckland, where Lindisfarne's Head of Boarding Glen Petersen, and College Nurse Sandy Kennedy, first had the idea - a boys' school supporting women.

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Who killed 18-month-old Comfort Joy Witeri-Thompson? Police call for toddler's family and others to speak up

Taupo Police want a toddler's family to speak out, over what they believe happened to 18-month-old Comfort Joy Witeri-Thompson.

Comfort was killed by what police say were "deliberately inflicted" head injuries, at a Tirau address last month.

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The Side Eye: Inequality Tower 2018

Imagine all the wealth in NZ as a ten-storey apartment building. Imagine half of NZ crammed in a tiny corner of the bottom floor.

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Businesses asked to help violent men in south Auckland control their anger

Neil Denney​ is doing everything he can to stop angry men from bashing their loved ones.

The chief executive of Friendship House in Manukau, south Auckland, says so many men are self-referring to the organisation's 'Living Without Violence' programme that he plans to start asking businesses if they can help to cover the costs of delivering it.

"We should be preventative rather than curative," Denney says.

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Sex ed programme Mates and Dates goes nationwide with $18.4m funding from ACC

A sex education programme which initially ruffled some feathers because of its risqué content will be rolled out in schools across the country.

The ACC programme "Mates and Dates" was launched at eight New Zealand secondary schools in 2014. It followed the high-profile Roastbusters scandal, in which several West Auckland boys bragged on social media about having sex with intoxicated underage girls.

It also coincided with a parliamentary inquiry which said schools needed to start teaching students respectful attitudes to sex and sexuality instead of just the mechanics of sex and reproduction.

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Kyle MacDonald: Why we need to end the 'stranger danger' myth

Odds are, if you're of a certain age, somewhere in your brain the words "stranger danger" are etched as a dark warning.

Images of dirty old men, strangers with sweets and trench coats dominate what we wrongly assume to pose a danger to our children.

Of course, we now know that this portrayal is, at worst completely wrong, at best a statistical anomaly.

Around 85-90 per cent of sexual abuse is by someone known to the child - family, extended family, neighbours, teachers, sports coaches and the clergy. This is where the danger lies.

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Canterbury programme hopes to reduce family violence from prison

A pilot programme in Canterbury is hoping to reduce family violence by engaging with the perpetrators when they are at their most vulnerable.

Canterbury Police, He Waka Tapu and Integrated Safety Response have launched a six month pilot programme to tackle domestic violence.

The programme involves workers, called navigators, going into police cells to work with the offenders.

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New film captures the legacy and final days of social justice campaigner Celia Lashlie

It was supposed to be a film about the last year of social justice campaigner Celia Lashlie's life. She died at 11.33pm on day three.

That was Monday, February 16, 2015. Lashlie was 61.

Known for her strident public commentary about the mollycoddling of boys and the failures of social agencies and the justice system, Lashlie told her friends in January she had terminal pancreatic cancer.

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Millionaire bankrolls domestic violence film

A New Zealand multimillionaire who admits knowing nothing about films can now call himself an "executive producer'' after bankrolling a new documentary on the late social justice reformer Celia Lashlie.

Garry Robertson grew up in Mosgiel witnessing "plenty of violence'' and determined to prove to his father he was not stupid.

Starting out as an apprentice electrician at Dunedin Railways, Mr Robertson worked his way up to become one of New Zealand's biggest land aggregators and most influential millionaires.

But he's also a passionate philanthropist who wants nothing more than ordinary, hard-working Kiwis making good in life.

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The girl with the broken bones goes home: an update

The family whose two children were taken by Oranga Tamariki has finally been reunited. Joris de Bres documents the family court’s ruling to return their daughter.

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Government seeks public input on well-being indicators

The government wants public input on a set of well-being indicators it intends to incorporate into all future Budgets.

The government is developing a list of 100 environmental, social and economic indicators to measure the well-being and success of New Zealanders, alongside traditional economic indicators like GDP.

The consultation process was launched this morning by Statistics Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw, who said this was a long-standing central tenet of Greens' economic policy.

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Te Hiku iwi-police partnership sets benchmark

A partnership between Te Hiku iwi and police has impressed the Minister of Social Development, who visited Kaitaia earlier this month.

Carmel Sepuloni visited Te Hiku Development Trust and Waitomo Papakainga Trust, to learn how initiatives from Te Hiku Social Accord were progressing. One is Whiria Te Muka, a partnership between the police and iwi designed to reduce and prevent whanau harm.

The innovative approach, launched in January, weaves a team of iwi kaimahi and police officers who work with whanau and support providers to find solutions to reduce domestic violence.

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Netsafe to tackle child sexual abuse material online

Press Release: Netsafe

New Zealand online safety organisation Netsafe is voted on to the Board of global INHOPE network, as it ramps up its work to tackle child sexual abuse material online.

Netsafe’s Director of Technology and Partnerships, Sean Lyons, has been voted on to the Board of INHOPE, the umbrella organisation uniting a network of 48 hotlines tackling child sexual abuse imagery online and child sexual exploitation around the world.

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New leave for domestic violence victims

New Zealand workers have to wait until 2019 for domestic violence leave, but millions of Australian workers today gained the right to up to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence a year.

From the first full pay period on or after August 1, 2018, Australian workers will be able to apply for five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave a year.

Similar legislation was passed by the New Zealand parliament last month, giving workers up to 10 days paid leave form April next year, reports YUDU.

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Teen parent a ‘survivor’

At just 19 years old, Masterton’s Mere Kawana is a mum and a domestic violence survivor.

And she doesn’t know where she would be today if it weren’t for the Wairarapa Teen Parent Unit, and the blessing of her son TJ, now two years old.

Read more…


Sexual abuse prevention programme launched in schools

CAPS Hauraki Right2BSafe Project has launched a new strategy for parents and caregivers to help kids keep safer from sexual abuse.

The campaign, called All Children/Tamariki have the Right2BSafe, He Mana tō ia tamaiti, will see information packs distributed to schools within the district.

Project leader Kathy Archibald said the campaign was aimed at primary school-aged children and would later be launched at early childhood centres.

"They're just such good simple, helpful, hopeful messages around protecting children from sexual abuse," she said.

"It's about breaking the silence, and there is a lot we can do to stop the abuse from happening in the first place."

Read more…


Victim left bloodied and bruised after serious domestic attack

A woman who suffered a severe beating at the hands of her partner was afraid to go to sleep out of fear she might not wake up again, a court heard.

The domestic violence victim endured being dragged by the hair, strangled into unconsciousness and belted around the head multiple times by Kelly Matiu Thompson after she told him they should break up.

Read more…


Renewed calls for church to be part of Royal Commission

A paedophile priest who left a trail of victims in his wake was allowed to continue as a man of the cloth for nearly two decades after his offending was revealed to the Bishop of Dunedin. 

Survivors say it shows why the Catholic Church should be part of a Royal Commission into historic abuse. Chris Morris investigates.

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Public 'left in the dark' over suspected serial sex predator, rape agencies say

Sexual violence agencies say the public have been "left in the dark" following revelations about a possible serial predator, and want an explanation from police.

The groups said women had a right to information about their safety so they could make choices. Equally, if there was no danger, police should publicise that, they said.

"At the moment we're in the dark. And that's how sexual violence exists, in the dark, and public awareness helps prevent it," said national Rape Crisis spokeswoman Andrea Black.

"I think they could at least give the community a clue about what's going on."

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Hostel spot gets homeless rape-accused away from river

A man facing nine charges of rape and sexual abuse is no longer living "down the river" that runs through central Blenheim.

The man, who cannot be named, told the court a few weeks ago he was living in the Taylor River Reserve, in central Blenheim, having been kicked out of his home.

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Men’s counsellor on assault charges

Men’s counsellor and anti-domestic violence campaigner Winton Kere Ropiha has made a preliminary court appearance on five charges of a domestic nature, one of them assault.

Ropiha, 51, appeared in Gisborne District Court yesterday and indicated not guilty pleas would be entered to all the charges and that he would elect trial by jury.

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Black Power president jailed for raping gang prospect's partner

The double life of a Taranaki gang boss jailed for raping a woman has been revealed in court.

On one hand, Dennis Craig Weston was lauded as a generous and highly regarded man who helped out his community.

But a much darker picture has emerged of a man with a sense of entitlement, who has a propensity for violence and got his sexual thrills through using force.

In June, Weston - the president of the Stratford chapter of the Black Power - was found guilty of rape and indecent assault after a jury returned unanimous verdicts following a four-day trial in the New Plymouth District Court.

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Family 'heartbroken' after state care abuse victim Daryl Brougham dies

The work of a man who helped launch a Crown inquiry into historical state care abuse following his own appalling childhood won't be in vain, his heartbroken widow pledges. 

Daryl Brougham, 38, died on Thursday after a two month battle with pneumonia and an unknown virus that left him on life support for four weeks. 

He left behind two daughters, aged 4 and 2, with wife Emily Gao. He also had three children from a previous marriage – Felicity, Paige and Zachariah Brougham.

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'Evil predator' gets open-ended jail term

The woman Luke James Henry was convicted of assaulting, kidnapping, and raping described him as "an evil predator" before a judge imposed an open-ended jail term.

His victim, who said she had now been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, told the court: "Although I am a victim, I am also a survivor."

After giving evidence at Henry's trial in May, the woman was at the Christchurch High Court today to see him handed preventive detention by Justice David Gendall. The trial was told that she had been assaulted, choked, kidnapped, and raped twice in an incident in September 2016.

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Father jailed after admitting incest

An Oamaru man committed incest with his youngest daughter, who became pregnant twice within six months, a court has heard.

The victim, who was a teenager at the time, miscarried on both occasions.

Court documents revealed only one of the pregnancies could definitively be attributed to the father.

A man in his 50s - who has been married to the victim’s mother for more than 20 years - pleaded guilty to three counts of incest and was jailed for three years and four months when he appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

Read more…


Category: News Media