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Weekly Media Roundup

September 07, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Man charged with murder after death of Mangawhai toddler

A 30-year-old man has been granted continued name suppression after being charged with the murder of a 2-year-old in Northland.

Police were called to a house in Mangawhai Heads about 8.15pm on August 22 after the toddler died.

The murder accused appeared at the North Shore District Court on Friday.

He was granted continued name suppression.

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Parents given chance to speak on Family Court improvements

Parents previously involved in the family court system have two months to have their say on how to improve it.

The independent panel charged with improving family court wants to hear from anyone who has navigated their way through the court and related services.

Changes introduced in 2014 were supposed to resolve disputes without families having to go to court.

But there has been a sharp increase in urgent applications as parents work around the system to get access to lawyers and have their case dealt with by a judge.

That has caused major delays, with Justice Minister Andrew Little conceding children are suffering as a result.

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The National crime crisis

Meanwhile, at the Government's recently finished criminal justice summit, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern presented some challenging statistics. Among prisoners in New Zealand jails, she said, 70 per cent have literacy difficulties, 62 per cent have had a mental health issue in the past year and 47 per cent have addiction problems. Over 40 per cent have a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD from abuse and violence and 53 per cent of women prisoners have experienced sexual assault.

Also, over half our prisoners are Māori. And there's another statistic that I think is just as telling. A Ministry of Health investigation in 2005 found that two-thirds of prisoners had suffered a head injury.

Mark that date: we've known about this for nearly 15 years.

As a young man you get beaten up in a fight. Or you're in a car crash. Or you've already been beaten, as a child, as a toddler, as a baby. Or you were born with foetal alcohol syndrome.

Crime is a police issue and a justice issue and a safety issue and a whole lot more. But beyond all of that, isn't it obvious it's a health issue?

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‘We’re not here to judge your lifestyle, we’re here to make sure you’re housed’

Russell Brown talks to Moira Lawler of Lifewise Trust about Housing First, a programme designed to get the most vulnerable homeless people into stable accommodation irrespective of mental or physical wellbeing or any history of substance abuse

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Exclusive: Figures show sexual violence court pilot is slashing trial wait times

Figures exclusively revealed to 1 NEWS show the sexual violence court pilot is slashing trial wait times from two years to an average of just eight months.

The new courts in Auckland and Whangārei have been active for the past 18 months and Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue wants to see it become permanent.

"It's very encouraging to think that of those 300 almost all of them have got through in and out in under eight months," Judge Doogue told 1 NEWS.

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State abuse inquiry: 'They've lost hope because it's taken so long'

Survivors of abuse in state care are worried about how long it's taking to get a Royal Commission of Inquiry underway.

The inquiry into historical child abuse in state care was announced in February, and after consultation, a report written by the commission's chair Sir Anand Satyanand was given to Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin at the end of May.

Three months later, people like lawyer Sonja Cooper, who represents many who were abused in state care across the country, were wondering when the inquiry would get underway.

She had expected the inquiry's terms of reference would be finalised by now.

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She says she was raped in a classroom, and her life changed forever. What about his?

In a North Island city, a senior teacher tells police she was raped in a classroom. Another teacher is charged with her rape. The community is divided, and that's just the beginning.

She can't look at herself naked in the mirror any more. When she catches a glimpse, there's something surreal about the reflection; like it's her body, only not quite.

When you have post-traumatic stress disorder, you constantly relive events you'd do anything to forget. For Sarah, whose real name we can't legally publish, a flash of her own skin can be enough to trigger the night she says another teacher at a leading North Island school raped her in a classroom.

The alleged attack happened after hours, while Sarah was finishing off some work. Of course she knew the teacher; they had once been friends. She remembers the desks, their wooden angles jumbled in a corner. When he let her go, she says, she just ran.

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Violence against women is a 'national crisis': Helen Clark

New Zealand may have the worst rate of violence against women in the developed world, says former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The government needed to recognise that violence against women was a national crisis and make a determined effort to "fix it", Ms Clark said at the National Council of Women conference in Auckland this morning.

She referred to a study by Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security in the United States, that ranked New Zealand 18th in terms of women's peace and security.

"Maybe we've always been the worst, but it hasn't been expressed that starkly to us before," Ms Clark said.

The low ranking was due almost entirely to New Zealand's rates of intimate partner violence.

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It's not the justice system that's broken, it's the people

OPINION: As someone who spends a lot of time in courts I have found recent commentary around justice and the prison population fascinating, and irritating.

Where I live, Hawke's Bay, we have recently seen two 17-year-olds given life sentences for murder. We have a 14-year-old before the courts on a murder charge and four other teens who recently admitted grievous bodily harm. A few months back we had a 20-year-old jailed for life for murder and we have a growing number of other teens lining up to appear for a spate of aggravated robberies.

These people, kids really, have committed heinous crimes, but they too are victims.

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Dance show through Pasifika lense aims to crack open New Zealand's masculine culture - 'Men should have a cry'

A dance show that premiered in Auckland last night has a strong message for men - it's okay to feel.

Through the lens of Pasifika culture, the bold piece from Dance Company Black Grace explores the idea of masculinity.

"We've been taught to really appreciate that strong silent type," said company's founder Neil Ieremia. "I think it's a load of trash, really.

"Men should express themselves, and have a cry from time to time."

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Teenage twins take stage against domestic violence

A pair of Christchurch twins are hoping their music can help stop domestic violence in New Zealand.

Tanemahuta and Teakaraupo Pakeha-Heke witnessed horrific domestic violence as children.

The twins started singing as soon as they were old enough to talk.

Now 13 years old, they have performed their songs and stories at marae, festivals and for an audience of hundreds at the recent justice summit in Porirua.

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Mother forced to pay $92/hr to visit son in state care

Parents whose children are in state care have to pay hundreds of dollars to spend time with them.

A mother whose son who was placed in state care because she was in a violent relationship is forced to pay $92 dollars an hour to visit him.

"The process is I am advised as to when I can see him at a supervised centre through Barnardos. I pay an hourly fee of $92 dollars. There is an initial assessment process you have to go through which costs $250.

"It's had a huge financial burden on me."

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Video conferencing equipment helping victims of domestic violence get easier access to legal aid

Women sheltered at Timaru's women's refuge centre have better access to legal aid with the introduction of video conferencing equipment.

As part of law firm Portia's move to Timaru, technology is now available to help women feel safer engaging a lawyer.

"What we tried to do was remove as many barriers as possible. Sometimes even leaving the safety of the refuge can be a barrier," Portia CEO Jarrod Coburn said.

Coburn said fast-tracking a protection order to have it in effect within 24 hours was just one of the ways the firm's lawyers could help victims through the equipment.

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Waitemata DHB doubles Māori workforce

The Waitemata District Health Board has doubled its Māori nurses in three years, and is set to double its entire Māori workforce.

Since 2015, the number of Māori staff members at the DHB has gone from 276 to 483.

Its chief advisor for tikanga Dame Naida Glavish said exciting plans were underway to continue to grow that number.

"There is a major recruitment drive happening," she said.

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Nauru refugees: The island where children have given up on life

Suicide attempts and horrifying acts of self-harm are drawing fresh attention to the suffering of refugee children on Nauru, in what is being described as a "mental health crisis".

The tiny island nation, site of Australia's controversial offshore processing centre, has long been plagued with allegations of human rights abuses.

But a series of damning media reports recently has also highlighted a rapidly deteriorating situation for young people.

"We are starting to see suicidal behaviour in children as young as eight and 10 years old," says Louise Newman, professor of psychiatry at the University of Melbourne who works with families and children on the island.

"It's absolutely a crisis."

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Barry Pilcher convicted for downloading child sex abuse video

A tax adviser and art collector who downloaded a video of a child being sexually abused still believes the child was of legal age, despite experts saying otherwise.

He failed to complete diversion – which would have left him without a conviction – or have his name permanently suppressed.

Instead, Barry Pilcher was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on Friday to 18 months' intensive supervision.

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Trial begins for man accused of shooting ex-partner in front of children

A woman says she pleaded for her life after her ex-partner shot her in the leg at close range with a pump action shotgun in front of her two children.

"Please don't kill me. My kids need me," she said, as Luke Adam Nickless held the shotgun to her head, she told the Christchurch District Court.

The Crown says it is a simple case of domestic violence with an angry and deliberate shooting. The defence says the shooting was accidental.

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'A way of people regulating how they're feeling' - psychologist says NZ has high rate of self-harm among young people

A clinical psychologist says New Zealand adolescents self-harm even more than those overseas, after a new study showed about one in five 14-year-old girls in the UK did so.

Dougal Sutherland, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said while the UK rate is high at about 20 per cent, the same rate in New Zealand is about 30 per cent or more.

The UK data came from a Children's Society report published this year, which surveyed 11,000 children and found 22 per cent of the girls and nine per cent of the boys had hurt themselves intentionally in the previous year.

The report said among the most common reasons given were gender stereotypes and worries about looks.

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Students launch Embrace It anti-bullying campaign

Thames High School students are embracing their differences after a new anti-bullying campaign launched last week.

The student-developed Embrace It campaign was launched at a special assembly on August 29, followed by a community launch at Thames Youth Centre on August 31. 

Spokesperson and year 12 student Luci Quinn said it was an anti-bullying campaign with a difference.

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Spike in number of South Asian domestic violence victims seeking culturally appropriate help

Auckland Indian housewife Prema (not her real name) has been a victim of domestic abuse for nearly 30 years, and only found the courage to seek help after being directed to a culturally appropriate safe house.

An Auckland charity which helps South Asian women victims says incidents of domestic violence are "drastically under reported" in the community, and that having a culturally appropriate service was critical.

Roopa Suchdev, chief executive of the Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust, said the number of victims the charity is helping has doubled in since 2016 - from 500 to about 1000 and
the number requiring emergency safe house services is up from 10 to 60.

"South Asian women don't feel right reporting domestic violence because they have this belief that it is a private affair," Suchdev said.

"Many also feel others would not understand their culture or why they are expected to treat their husbands like gods."

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Community work and supervision for Whanganui man who assaulted his partner by grabbing her throat

"Mum help me, he's trying to strangle me."

Those were the words a woman screamed when her cellphone was wrestled away from her by Robert Kells Meyer at a property in Whanganui in June.

Meyer was sentenced to 12 months' supervision and 80 hours' community work by Judge Philip Crayton in Whanganui District Court last week.

He was convicted of common assault and contravening a protection order.

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Southern city has most reported sexual assaults

Invercargill has more reports of sexual assault than anywhere else in the South.

Between July 2014 and May 2018, there were 302 reports of sexual assault and related offences reported in Invercargill, more than any other policing area in Otago and Southland, according to police data.

Figures released by police under the Official Information Act show the clearance rate for sexual assault is also the highest in Invercargill for the years 2015-17.

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Scale of abuse, suffering revealed

It started with one bad apple - a paedophile priest from Dunedin who abused four boys and was jailed for his crimes. But the story of Fr Magnus Murray’s crimes has opened the floodgates, releasing a torrent of torment and abuse held back for decades.

Now one big question remains: just how wide does this go? Chris Morris investigates.

Read more…

Category: News Media