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Weekly Media Roundup

November 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

Religious institutions to be included in state abuse inquiry

The Government's inquiry into the abuse of children in state care will be expanded to include the abuse of children in the care of religious institutions.

The Inquiry is to be called the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions, to reflect its expanded scope.

The Royal Commission was formally established in February to be chaired by the former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, with the terms of reference, budget and additional inquiry members to be announced after consultation and Cabinet approval.

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The widening challenge of the state care abuse inquiry

Changes to the state care abuse inquiry's size and complexity offer a new set of problems, writes the University of Auckland's Dr Stephen Winter 

The long wait is over. The Royal Commission into abuse and neglect in out-of-home care now has a full complement of commissioners, a budget and its final terms of reference. Recent commentators have focused on the fact that religious care arrangements are now included. However, there are a range of other changes, all of which increase the Commission’s size and complexity.

The inclusion of faith-based care is a significant change. However, equally important is the inclusion of all state and private schools, early childhood centres and police custody. To give a sense of what this means, there are around 2530 schools, 5585 early childhood centres and 330 police stations in New Zealand. Including these facilities will dramatically increase the Commission’s scope, and that is to say nothing of people in care in hospitals, prisons, health camps and so on.

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Human rights lawyer sceptical about expansion of inquiry into child abuse in state care

he Government has announced it is expanding the scope of its long-promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care to include those in the care of churches.

Human Rights lawyer Sonya Cooper is sceptical about the expansion, however.

“One of the major issues for us in terms of the time frame that it came as far forward as possible, we wanted as many people who have been through state care to be able to be included and to have a voice in the royal commission," she told TVNZ's Breakfast. 

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Abuse inquiry: Some Māori disappointed at widened scope

Māori abused in state care say they will be silenced in the government inquiry now it's to include abuse by the churches. The Royal Commission will be expanded to include faith-based institutions as well as well as state abuse. It also announced the four members of the inquiry that will support its chair Sir Anand Satyanand, including Māori law specialist Andrew Erueti from Auckland University. Survivor Paora Crawford Moyle is disappointed with the latest announcement and told our Māori news correspondent Leigh-Marama McLachlan having only one Māori on the inquiry is a problem.

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Abuse inquiry change will help Māori voices - Murray Heasley

A spokesperson for survivors of abuse in faith-based institutions says extending the inquiry scope will strengthen voices not diminish them. Some Māori abused in state care say they will be silenced in the government inquiry now it's including abuse by the churches. Survivors say expanding the inquiry will water it down, and those abused by the state should be dealt with on their own. Doctor Murray Heasley of Ngāti Raukawa, is the spokesperson for a network of survivors of abuse in faith based institutions.

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Royal Commission will 'confront a dark chapter' of our history

Opinion - The theological and secular terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse have now been spread as evenly as Marmite on toast.

Announcing the contours of the $78m commission this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Cabinet had agreed to expand the inquiry's remit to investigate abuse in church-run institutions as well as the 26 state-run residences that had received a lion's share of media attention over recent years.

The new brief envelops faith-based schools and facilities, including the orphanages that did business in New Zealand up until the late 1960s.

The focus will not stretch to other denominational settings - church camps or sports clubs, for instance - which could chew up even more parliamentary time than the four years laid down for the Sir Anand Satyanand-led inquiry.

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Victims of child sexual abuse heartened by widening of Royal Commission

News that a Royal Commission will be expanded into faith-based institutions – and confirmation it will include day schools – is being cautiously hailed as a "game changer".

The Government on Monday announced the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care would be expanded to include faith-based institutions. The move followed extensive lobbying from child sexual abuse survivors and their advocates.

Murray Heasley, from Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith Based Institutions, had been concerned that faith-based day schools would be excluded.

The Government has bowed to public pressure and announced it will include churches in its historical abuse inquiry.

Given that more than 60 per cent of sexually abused children in faith-based institutions were abused in day school settings, he was worried the bulk of the issue would be missed.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office confirmed day schools fell within the inquiry's scope.

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White Ribbon ambassador Mark Longley calls for violence to stop

Eight years ago Kiwi Emily Longley was strangled in the UK by her ex-boyfriend, the tragic end to a short but violent relationship.

Her father back here in New Zealand, current Newshub Digital managing editor Mark Longley, was not aware of the extent of the tumultuous relationship.

He appeared on The AM Show on Friday, and says we need to stop tolerating male perpetrated violence against females.

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White Ribbon anti-violence campaign calls for men to stand up, speak out, and act

White Ribbon launched a new campaign on Monday asking men to "stand up" to actions they identify as violent.

New Zealand has the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world, with one family violence related police callout occurring every five minutes.

White Ribbon's manager Rob McCann said there were misconceptions around the reason for this high level of violence.

"Too often people think violence is just someone losing their temper, but research clearly demonstrates that violence is more about controlling behaviour and men's socialisation."

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White Ribbon campaign an essential part of ending family violence and sexual violence

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence issues) Jan Logie has spoken in support of White Ribbon’s campaign launch in Auckland today and calls on all men to do their part to end family violence and sexual violence in New Zealand.

“White Ribbon is a call to action for men, urging respectful relationships with women and inviting men to take the pledge to always stand up, speak out and act to prevent all forms of violence against women,” says Jan Logie.

“This campaign comes as the Government is making significant moves to improve our response to family violence and sexual violence. It’s an important time for New Zealanders to get involved.

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Stand Strong NZ: 'The fallout is huge' - Kiwi teen's death brings cyberbullying into focus

One in two Kiwi kids is bullied at school, yet most schools claim to have a zero tolerance for bullying. New Zealand has one of the worst rates of bullying in the OECD. How did we get here? And what can we do to change the statistics? Zane Small reports. 

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When the bullied become the bullies

A new UNICEF report has found New Zealand has the worst school bullying rates of any economically advanced country. With the bullied now banding together online to share their resentment, do we need to pay more attention and extend more empathy to ostracised and sexually frustrated young men, even those spouting hatred of women?

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From violence to freedom

Troy Tatana’s upbringing taught him one thing, “take a swing, or get knocked out”.

Violence was just a normal thing, and so was alcohol and drug abuse.

But when he was court-ordered to do a 16-week course with ChangeAbility in Masterton earlier this year, his life and behaviour started to change.

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Social workers aim to use public sector pay rise as leverage

Social workers contracted by Oranga Tamariki want to piggyback on a big pay boost going to their counterparts at the state agency.

Oranga Tamariki's own social workers will next month get a 30 percent pay rise, in a $114 million pay equity deal.

Those who work in the community say if the government doesn't give them extra money to match those rates, there will be an exodus of experienced social workers.

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Social work contractors want same pay as Oranga Tamariki staff

Social workers who work for non-government agencies want to get the same pay as their state sector counterparts. Next month, Oranga Tamariki's social workers will receive a 30 percent pay rise, as part of their historic 114 million dollar pay equity settlement announced in September. Those who work in the community say if the government doesn't give them extra money to match those rates, there will be an exodus of experienced social workers. Catherine Hutton reports.

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Taupō domestic violence survivor speaks out

"I don't call myself a victim, I call myself a survivor," says Gloria Eves.

Gloria survived a violent relationship and a protracted separation. Her ex fought her in court every step of the way and it was eight years before everything was finally resolved. For Gloria, the legal conflict was just the continuation of the abuse she had suffered during the relationship.

Now Gloria is the co-ordinator at Taupō Violence Intervention Network, a agency which works locally to raise awareness of family violence. She acts as a link between all the agencies and social services working in family violence, providing resources and training, creating new resources, raising awareness and working to change community perception of family violence, as well as challenge social norms.

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'Shocking' survey results show sexual abuse 'ubiquitous' in Kiwi women's lives

Sexual abuse is a constant presence in Wellington student Sarah*'s life.

"I've lost count of the number of times I have been cat called on the street and touched inappropriately at bars. One particular one that stands out was when a guy reached his hand up my dress and grabbed my arse. I felt so uncomfortable and so angry that he felt he had a right to do that."

She is not the only one. 

A new survey found that 82 per cent of Kiwi women have been victim to either sexual violence or harassment, with two thirds of those revealing the abuse was of a physically aggressive nature.

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When will men start believing women?

A new survey of 1,025 New Zealand women found that 82% had experienced either sexual violence or harassment. Compelling evidence – but will men ever believe it, asks Emily Writes.

Content warning: This column describes instances of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

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Sibling infants' deaths investigated as homicides

The deaths of two infant siblings 14 months apart are suspicious, police have confirmed.

However, a lengthy homicide investigation appears to have stalled and the coroner will likely be left to determine what happened to the two-month-old girl and her six-week-old brother.

The children both lived at a property their parents rented in Canterbury.

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Abusive partners deny women money for food, power, rent and sanitary products

A 38-year-old Christchurch mother-of-two was left in financial ruin after her husband manipulated her into re-mortgaging their house under false pretences to fuel his meth addiction.

When the truth eventually came out, she suddenly found herself a single mother burdened with debt, no income, a poor credit rating and the very real possibility of losing her home.

Now victims' advocates are demanding a crackdown. They want the Government to recognise this kind of economic abuse a form of family violence in its own right – rather than a subset of psychological abuse, as it currently stands in the Domestic Violence Amendment Act. 

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Support for striking court staff: 'It's a really difficult job'

There is support for court staff from within the justice system as strike action escalates.

About 72 court cases have been adjourned in Auckland, and that number is expected to grow.

Ministry of Justice staff in the city are refusing to carry out paperwork in their fight for more pay.

Criminal lawyer Steve Cullen told Kate Hawkesby it will slow the wheels of justice but legitimate stakeholders involved with the courts are very supportive of staff.

"They're in a really difficult job, they are at the coal face dealing with all sorts of difficult people and difficult problems and yet they are getting just about the same money as people who are leaving school and flipping burgers."

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Man to partner: 'Give me one reason why I shouldn't put this knife in you'

A man who assaulted, cut, strangled and detained his partner says he can't remember any of it because he was "seeing red".

The victim of Agatupu Samu's rage was the mother of his one-year-old son.

The assault began at a Napier house on the evening of August 29 last year.

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Flint Wallace pleads guilty to shooting ex-partner in Otorohanga after attending counselling together

The ex-partner of Leigh Wallace had attended relationship counselling with her only hours before he fatally shot her in the head.

Flint Wallace, 57, pleaded guilty to murdering Leigh Wallace via audio visual link at Hamilton High Court this morning.

Wallace and Leigh Wallace, 50, who were also first cousins, had been in an on and off again relationship since 2014, according to the summary of facts.

Wallace had a history of family harm incidents and in June last year had his firearms licence revoked.

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#MeToo leads to increase in Whangārei Rape Crisis work

Whangārei Rape Crisis is dealing with a higher than usual number of historic sexual abuse cases since the #MeToo movement encouraged women to speak out.

Unlike the international celebrities going public about their experiences, women going to the rape crisis (WRC) service to get support in dealing with past or ongoing abuse are guaranteed confidentiality.

''We've had a massive increase in historic cases,'' co-ordinator Desiree Wikaira said. ''We are struggling.''

That is not to say the trained support workers and volunteers are struggling to do the job, but the WRC struggles to meet all its financial requirements.

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Violent 'deviant' who raped women and children jailed indefinitely

A violent and psychotic "sexual deviant" who raped women and children over decades is jailed indefinitely.

The 52-year-old man's criminal history lists includes sex charges against seven children.

Justice Cameron Mander imposed preventive detention at the man's sentencing in the High Court at Christchurch, and ordered that he serve at least seven years before he can be considered for release.

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Spurned lover admits stabbing ex-wife to death

A spurned lover has today admitted stabbing his ex-wife to death in a horrific "frenzied" street attack before declaring, "We are going to die together."

Shiu Prasad, a 52-year-old diesel mechanic, married Keshni Naicker, 28, in 2013 but came enraged after she left him earlier this year.

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Category: News Media