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Weekly Media Roundup

September 28, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Pay equity deal must apply to social workers contracted by Oranga Tamariki

SSPA welcomes the landmark pay equity deal for Oranga Tamariki social workers and says it must also apply to social workers contracted by community organisations that deliver services to Oranga Tamariki.

“It is high time the value of social work was recognised and we congratulate the PSA, Oranga Tamariki and the Minister for Children for taking this step.  It must also be accompanied by a funding boost that will enable the community organisations contracted by Oranga Tamariki to pay equitable wages to the social workers they employ” says SSPA national manager Brenda Pilott.

“We have advised government ministers and officials repeatedly about the pay gap between community-employed and Oranga Tamariki-employed social workers and have begun discussions about the impact of the pay equity deal. 

“With an existing pay gap of around 20% on average, the increase for Oranga Tamariki social workers over 2 years will widen that gap significantly. That will make it hard to employ and to retain experienced social workers to do the challenging work with children and families that Oranga Tamariki needs,” said Brenda Pilott.

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Happy Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers Day

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) celebrates national Social Workers Day 2018.

Today we pay tribute to all our social work colleagues. You are the super heroes, who make a difference in communities across the country. Social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand support and assist individuals, families/whanau and communities at the times when they are vulnerable and need assistance. Social Workers are required to deal with complex multi-disciplinary issues, be the calm voice in circumstances when emotions are at breaking point; manage high-risk situations and make critical life decisions often with scant information and under extreme time pressure. Despite the complex nature of the work Social Workers are steadfast and committed to supporting service users achieve their goals and assist them to take control of their own lives – to be self-determining.

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New Zealand's murder rate at lowest numbers since 1975

Provisional statistics show 35 people were murdered last year. That equates to 7 murders per million people - the lowest murder rate the country has seen since 1975 and less than half that of the late 1980s and early 1990s

The number of people killed by a current or ex-partner was also dropping - between 2007 and 2011 there were 63 compared to 52 between 2012 and 2016.

"We know that family harm is a serious issue that affects people of all ages and across all parts of society," Anderson said.

"Disturbingly, children under the age of five made up 12 per cent of homicide victims."

However, one expert says around 90 percent of people committing the offences are men and this stat needs to be reduced. 

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Over 60 per cent of rape charges not proven in court

Only a third of all the rape charges heard in courts around New Zealand in the past five years resulted in a conviction.

Now there are renewed calls to overhaul New Zealand's court system – advocates and Government ministers alike believe the low conviction rate is stopping people from making a complaint.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice, released under the Official Information Act, show 61 per cent of rape allegations in New Zealand were not proven.  There was a 35 per cent conviction rate.

There were 3100 charges for rape offences throughout the country between 2013-2017. Of those charges, 61 per cent were not proven, with a 35 per cent conviction rate.

Sexual violence survivor advocate Louise Nicholas believed New Zealand needed to move away from the "broken" adversarial court system, to a judge, two lay people and no jury.

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Kyle MacDonald: What we've misunderstood about the kids of Fraser High

COMMENT:

Confession time: I was a truant. In my final year of school, I was rarely there after lunch on Fridays, never at "study periods" and would just randomly leave school at other times.

Attempts to discipline me weren't very successful, largely because I ignored them and also because I was passing everything, as well as being engaged in other school activities.

Truth was, I wasn't an "entitled little snot", or a "loser". I was really unhappy. My parents had separated. I had peers who were struggling with various issues and a very close friend who had suffered a big loss.

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What the principal missed: How truancy is the symptom of a toxic environment

More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school yesterday in protest of their principal who said truants are more likely to go to prison, be raped, be unemployed, commit or be a victim of domestic violence, commit suicide, and have health and drug problems. The principal's attitude of hopelessness and condemnation does nothing to help our rangatahi, writes Aaron Hendry. 

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Boy in custody of Oranga Tamariki on serious charge found roaming streets with hunting knife

A judge has questioned how a 12-year-old boy facing an aggravated robbery charge ended up roaming the streets with a hunting knife while in the custody of Oranga Tamariki.

The boy was the youngest of four people charged in relation to the aggravated robbery of a bottlestore in Hastings on September 3, in which a man stabbed numerous times was lucky to survive what police described as a "callous and vicious attack".

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Forty years on the front line: life as an Oranga Tamariki social worker

Even after 40 years as a social worker, Patricia Prchal still finds inspiration in the ways people can come back from the lowest lows.

There's little the 79-year-old hasn't seen working for Oranga Tamariki – drugs, violence, neglect – but ask her what stands out, and she'll smile.  

Prchal has worked thousands of cases either as a youth justice co-ordinator, family group conference co-ordinator and in the care and protection team.

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Quantifying the disease burden of alcohol’s harm to others

Press Release: Massey University

Professor Sally Casswell from Massey University’s SHORE & Whāriki Research Centre has been awarded nearly $1 million in funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, to investigate what is known as the “second hand” harm of alcohol.

The research, which will be carried out over the next three years, focuses on the non-drinking victims of drunk driving, victims of assault including family violence and the impact of alcohol on unborn children resulting in Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Professor Casswell says the study will provide new knowledge about alcohol harm that is largely invisible or neglected. “This work will provide a more complete picture of the burden of alcohol harm in communities to inform decision making about policy on alcohol control and contribute to international efforts to reduce alcohol consumption.”

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South Canterbury Rugby Union continues campaign against family harm

Running out on to Alpine Energy Stadium will be a special moment for captain Nick Strachan and some of his team mates on Saturday.

Strachan has been capped 75 times for South Canterbury, but it will be the first time his four-year-old daughter has joined him when he runs out on to the paddock.

As part of the union's Family Day, each player will run out with a family member prior to the kick-off against Mid Canterbury.

Calder said the day was also in support of the union's Stand Up campaign against family harm in South Canterbury. 

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'Nightmare': Dunedin father abused, neglected his children

As Garry William Bingle lay in his kitchen in a drug-induced stupor, his two toddlers played by the red-hot element he had used to spot cannabis.

It was just one incident in a catalogue of neglect and abuse over a number of years committed by the 46-year-old, revealed at the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

Bingle previously pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect as well as charges of threatening to kill and assaulting a female.

His partner described the period of turmoil as "a nightmare".

Judge Kevin Phillips condemned the defendant's behaviour and jailed him for two years.

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Abuser tied himself to victim as he slept to stop her from escaping

He beat his terrified girlfriend to a pulp, threatened to kill her and her family, and at one point fired a sawn-off rifle at her.

But Thomas Coffin knew the victim of his frequent jealous rages would be likely to run to the police in order to escape him. That's why, every night, he tied a piece of cord around her throat, wrist, or ankle and then tied it to his own wrist before they went to sleep, to stop her from fleeing.  

Thomas John Coffin, 37, was jailed for seven years and nine months when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Friday.

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'Laying in a pool of blood' - One dead, another arrested following stabbing at family harm incident in Papamoa

A man is dead and another has been arrested after a family harm situation in Papamoa this morning.

A local man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the death of a man in his 40s, who was fatally stabbed at about 8.30am this morning.

Police say that no one else has been injured and no one else is being sought in relation to the death.

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Man keeps partner in 'kennel' between assaults over three days

A man said he kept his partner in a small room and assaulted her over three days because he was 'sick of her not paying her way'.

David Little, 49, had been in a relationship with the woman for about seven months when he became angry with her on July 17 last year. 

He assaulted her before locking her inside the shed he called home in an industrial area of Napier.

He made her stay in a room that was 1.6m by 3m with no external windows and only one door, which he forced closed.

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Man whose rape was recorded on woman's phone sentenced to home detention

His crime was recorded by the woman he raped, and he put his selfish desires ahead of everything else, a court has heard.

As a result, the survivor feels like damaged goods and is unable to take enough showers to "wash away the filth he brought me".

​Harris Henrick Barry Rangi Kaimanawa Robinson, 20, was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court to 12 months' home detention and 100 hours' community work for the November 2017 rape.

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Man considered 'trusted family member' jailed for child sex offences

The mother of two victims of sexual abuse cried at the sentencing of the offender, previously a trusted family friend.

Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said Raymond O'Connell, 66, was considered "a trusted member of the family" at the time of the offending.

The grandfather and the mother of the two victims gave impact statements to the judge.

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