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Weekly Media Roundup

August 31, 2018 at 11:20 AM

New reporting system for children harmed while in state care

A new comprehensive level of reporting revealing any abuse or injuries suffered by children in state care is being introduced to include even minor incidents such as when a child may have been hurt falling off a horse or playing in the playground.

The Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki wants to reduce the number of children hurt under the care of the agency after research found about 12 per cent of youngsters in 2015/16 suffered harm while supposedly in state care.

As of 31 March 2018, 6250 children were in state care and about 3,800 caregivers provided day-to-day care for those kids who could not live at home.

The new measures include widening the scope of what is harm to cover any incidents that occur. The information is to be reported straight away so action if required can be taken.

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Catriona MacLennan: A few concerns with justice reforms

Catriona MacLennan draws on her experience as a lawyer in Manukau District Court to argue we need change that provides justice both for perpetrators and victims

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Alison Mau: New Zealand needs to shut down its prisons – or blow them up

OPINION: At the start of the Justice Summit this week, one Labour Minister (I can't remember which, there were so many, but it was probably Andrew Little) asked the crowd for a show of hands. Was there anyone among the nearly 700 delegates who did not think New Zealand's  justice system needed radical change?

Not a single hand went up.

Despite what you might have heard the summit was not all yoga circles and kumbaya. Māori delegates in particular called in anger and frustration from the floor for more representation. They spoke of the "brown elephant in the room," a reference to the out-of-kilter proportion of their people in our prisons. Someone suggested the system needed to be "blown up" altogether.

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Police fail to uncover Bay of Plenty 'paedophile ring'

Police say they've failed to uncover any evidence of a "pedophile ring" operating in the Bay of Plenty.

Their investigation was sparked after Anihera Black, widow of prominent community leader Te Awanui Black, said he was involved in a ring of abuse that was of the highest levels.

In a video posted to Facebook, Ms Black said he was sexually abused as a child and as an adult, abused other children.

Police have been investigating the allegations since July, Detective Inspector Mark Loper said in a statement on Thursday.

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Ani Black has opened a can of worms. Let it stay open.

Ani Black’s explosive child sexual abuse claims on social media last month — against her former husband Awanui Black, who died in 2016 — caused an uproar that’s still being felt around the country.

Not surprising was the sudden need to pick a side.

According to the Facebook judicial system and carpark hui tribunals, and depending on which side you landed, either Awanui and his friends are now guilty, without any investigation, of pedophilia and running a pedophile ring — or Ani is just a woman scorned, with mental health issues and a questionable friend with supernatural powers.

But, regardless of anybody’s point of view, Ani has created a space for us to talk about child sexual abuse — a space for victims/survivors to be courageous and brave and speak out about what their abusers did to them. She has ripped the blindfolds from our eyes and initiated confronting conversations within communities, whānau, hapū and iwi.

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Elder abuse on the rise - Age Concern Hawke's Bay

Age Concern Hawke's Bay is calling for more to be done about elder abuse after several high profile cases have made recent headlines.

In July, 87-year-old retired retailer and orchardist David Geor was kidnapped in the Countdown Hastings carpark, by a man and woman forcing him to let them take money from his bank account before abandoning him trapped in the back of his hatchback in another carpark.

Manager Deborah Biggs said for years people did not know elder abuse occurred and to some extent, some still don't.

In the last financial year, from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 162 cases were opened - up 76 on the previous year. In July, they opened 18 new cases.

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More calls for including faith-based organisations in abuse inquiry

There are further calls for faith-based organisations to be included in a Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical child abuse in state care.

While the terms of reference for the government inquiry are yet to be finalised, religious organisations were not included in the draft form because they are not state institutions.

But many groups said churches should be included.

The latest is the National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together.

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Dr Cathy Stephenson: At a vulnerable time of life, the elderly should feel safe

OPINION: My kids are lucky enough to have healthy, fit and loving grandparents, with whom they have a very special connection. Despite two of them living half a world away, they are close to them all, and I hope view them as wise, kind influences in their lives: people who will always cheer them on from the sidelines, even if just in a metaphorical way. People who are forever keen to hear about the latest success at school or on the soccer pitch, interested in their lives, and supportive of their choices. Lucky indeed. 

Sadly for many older people, respectful, loving, caring and nurturing relationships are not the norm, and in a world where we all seem to be increasingly busy and pre-occupied with our own lives, abuse of our elders is common and often unrecognised.

This isn't a problem confined to New Zealand - globally, this is a huge issue as well with between 3-10 per cent of older people reporting abuse of one kind or another. This horrifies me.

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Victim slams Labour summer camp report

One of the victims from Labour’s youth summer camp scandal has slammed the party for its “absolutely appalling” handling of a review into what went wrong, saying nobody is being held accountable.

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Samoa Ombudsman questions corporal punishment

Samoa's Ombudsman is calling on the government to defer any decisions on reinstating corporal punishment in schools.

Samoa banned the practice in 2013 but is considering an amendment that would give teachers the right to use reasonable force to discipline students.

The Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, who also heads Samoa's Human Rights Institution, said a review of the law should wait for a report on domestic violence due next month.

The report was the result of a year long nationwide inquiry into the high levels of violence and abuse in Samoa.

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Rachel Rose: Whanganui agencies on the frontline working to counter family violence

There is frightening violence happening in our community.

Occasionally it takes the shocking form of a premeditated doorstep killing, as happened in Puriri Street on Tuesday. Much more often it happens behind a home's closed doors, within families.

Domestic violence is an epidemic in our country. It occupies more than 40 per cent of frontline police officers' time. In 2016, there were nearly 119,000 family violence investigations by NZ Police, and the number increases each year.

Is it because more violence is being wreaked, or are the police more likely to be involved? This is a question no-one can answer with complete certainty.

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Reported sexual assaults hit record levels in Dunedin

Sexual assaults in Dunedin are being reported in record numbers, as police and a support worker say international movements such as MeToo are contributing to the spike.

In the past three years, reports of sexual assault and related offences averaged about four per month in Dunedin Central.

However, in November last year, reports jumped to a record of 10 before reaching 11 in both February and June, the highest levels for a single month since the new police statistics system began.

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Shortland Street actor's fight against sexual violence

Actor Sam Bunkall is nowhere near as socially awkward as Boyd Rolleston, the top-notch surgeon he's played on Shortland Street for the past six years.

That said, he is just as committed to doing the right thing as his screen counterpart. In Bunkall's case, this means putting his celebrity to good use in his other job – educating teens on the dangers of sexual violence.

"It's a great job," says the actor of working as an educator for Rape Prevention Education, the group behind the Bodysafe programme for college students.

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Two Bay of Plenty men jailed for more than 8 years after raping heavily drunk woman in her home

Two Bay of Plenty men who raped a grossly intoxicated woman in her home have both been jailed for more than eight years.

Convicted rapists Baljeet Singh, 23, and Harpreet Singh, 26, were sentenced in the Tauranga District Court on Tuesday after they were earlier found guilty of sexual violation by rape at a jury trial.

The rapes happened in Tauranga in 2015 after the victim returned home after a night out and had engaged in consensual sex with an associate of one of the two rapists.

After the associate left, the other two men remained at the house and one after the other, forced themselves on the woman despite her protests.

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Child sex offender found with bestiality images on phone

A registered child sex offender is back behind bars for owning a cellphone without permission and using it to create and collect objectionable material, including images of men abusing poultry and animals performing sex acts on men.

Michael John Kight​, 25, is a registered child sex offender who has served time for arranging to meet a fictitious young person for a sexual purpose and distributing objectionable material.

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Category: News Media