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Weekly Media Roundup

December 14, 2018 at 2:27 PM

A Stuff special project examines New Zealand's system of removing children and babies from their parents.


Who Cares?

There are about 6300 children currently in state care. This is the true story of two of those children, Gabriel and Jesse. It is based on the facts, as told to Stuff by staff at Oranga Tamariki. All names have been changed

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10,000 child removal orders in five years: Is this system working?

It begins with a phone call, a report of concern. The next steps are crucial. When does a social worker act to remove a child from her parents? Is it riskier to tear a family apart, or to leave a kid in potential danger? Michelle Duff reports.

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Catherine loves her kids, but they will never be in her custody again

There's hardly a white space on the walls of Catherine's one-bedroom flat in Porirua.

Every spare inch is covered with her children. There's a school photograph, an artwork from her oldest, pictures of the girls at their birthdays. A poster-sized image of her daughter dressed like a Māori maiden, taken at a mall photo booth during a supervised visit.

Their names spill off the walls and across Catherine's arms, where they're tattooed in black ink.

She found out she would be losing that one while she was in labour. She will never forget that moment, like her heart had been ripped from her chest. "I just broke, I was like 'Oh my God she's not even here yet'," Catherine, 37, says.

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They learn to recognise the whiff of a p-house: Life as a social worker

They go into the roughest neighbourhoods, seeing a side of life most New Zealanders never have to. They learn to recognise the signs of a meth house, and to lift the baby out of the cot to check for bruises even as its parents insist it is fine. What's it like for social workers on the frontline, for whom a wrong decision can be catastrophic? Michelle Duff reports.

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Early intervention crucial in reducing family violence numbers

The Justice Sector's chief science advisor has singled early intervention out as a crucial way to combat New Zealand's staggering family violence statistics.

Ninety-two women were killed by their partners and 52 children died from abuse and neglect in the seven years to 2015.

The report, which was released yesterday, came out strongly - stating "it goes without saying that early intervention is needed" and if done well - could break intergenerational cycles of violence and abuse.

It referred to evidence-based parenting programmes Triple P and Incredible Years, which are already set up and have scientific evidence backing the claim that they help households where there are child-welfare concerns.

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Protecting children from family violence will prevent them perpetrating it later - report

The negative impacts of abuse in childhood are well understood, but still they are allowed to fester and chase too many into adulthood, says a major new discussion document on family violence. 

It will continue to be a problem while early warning signs in children and families are going unheeded, says the Justice Sector's chief science adviser Dr Ian Lambie, in his report titled Every four minutes: a discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand. It is the third in a series of papers looking at the factors contributing to NZ's high incarceration rate.

"Family violence is clearly a solvable problem," he says. 

The paper lays out a series of priority strategies for reducing family violence, which are set to feed into the Government's new national strategy and action plan on family violence and sexual violence, which was currently being developed. 

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New Zealand lacks comprehensive strategy to counter family violence - new report

More than a third of New Zealand women experience physical or sexual violence from their partners or ex-partners, and more than half of them suffer emotional abuse, a new report into family violence says.

And it says that Māori experienced little violence before colonisation, but are now highly exposed to violence and should be given culturally appropriate solutions.

The release, called Every Four Minutes, is the third in a series about the criminal justice sector from the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor.

The paper, launched today by Chief Science Advisor to the Justice Sector Ian Lambie, said that family violence and was largely a symptom of complex social and psychological issues - but it can be solved.

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New report finds a third of New Zealand women suffer physical or sexual intimate partner violence

A new report highlights the "substantial impact" caused by family violence in New Zealand and calls for action to address it.

The report on preventing family violence and reducing incarceration rates was released today by the Chief Science Adviser to the Justice Sector, Dr Ian Lambie.

Family violence thwarts a parent's ability to "nurture their children in the way they desire," the report says.

"Managing feelings (especially aggression), information-processing, reading social cues, and problem-solving skills can all be hampered by the extremely high levels of stress that children experience."

The report also points to the likelihood of intergenerational transmission of violence, neglect and maltreatment, with violence "normalised". 

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Domestic violence found in all communities - report

Family violence features in all suburbs, according to a new report which reveals one in four women from high-income households experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

Dr Ian Lambie, the justice sector chief science advisor, released a discussion paper today that said family violence is widespread in New Zealand and goes on behind closed doors in all communities.

Dr Lambie's report comes after police investigated more than 120,000 family harm incidents in 2017 - equating to one every four minutes.

He said while talking about the wellbeing of babies seemed a long way from arguments about the prison muster, all evidence pointed to targeting family violence from an early age.

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Colonisation trauma linked to family violence - Report

A new report by the prime minister's chief science adviser says it is possible to prevent and end family violence in New Zealand.  The report, titled Every 4 Minutes, acknowledges the link between the trauma of colonisation and prejudice to the high rates of family violence and incarceration among Māori.

The report says protecting children from family violence will prevent them becoming the next generation of perpetrators.

Chief Science Adviser for the justice sector, Dr Ian Lambie says, "Given the risk of inter-generational transmission of violence it's essential that we work with children who have experienced abuse or have been exposed to violence in order to break the cycle."

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Hāpai Te Hauora praises report into family violence

"How do we stop getting in the way of Māori and Pasifica flourishing, and reverse the trauma of colonisation and disadvantage?"

This sentence is drawn from a new report into family violence in New Zealand. The report is the third in a series examining the factors leading to New Zealand’s high incarceration rates.

Hāpai Te Hauora, New Zealand’s largest Māori public health organisation, welcomes the report and its unflinching assessment of the causal effects of colonisation and institutional racism on whānau Māori in 2018.

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Editorial: Intervention is better than imprisonment

EDITORIAL: "Prevention is better than cure" is one of those cliched maxims many of a certain vintage grew up with, but perhaps never fully appreciated.

But the underlying wisdom of that sentiment across a range of practical applications is coming into sharp focus. In the past fortnight, two important documents addressing areas of major concern in New Zealand society have been released, and both have stressed the vital importance of early intervention in preventing, or at least lessening, serious downstream consequences.

Last week, the report into a mental health inquiry which ran for much of this year strongly made the point that the country's mental health strategy had too narrow a focus; primarily on treating psychiatric illness, and not enough on intervention to prevent those suffering mental distress tipping over into crisis. This issue was partly a function of inadequate funding.

Now a discussion document on reducing family violence, by Dr Ian Lambie, chief science adviser to the justice sector - made up of the Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections and police - has made a similar point in another sphere, emphasising strongly that young children who are exposed to family violence are most at risk of becoming perpetrators of such violence themselves as adults.

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Opinion: Don't forget how you felt the next time this happens

Since the tragic death of Grace Millane, my newsfeed has been full of people experiencing grief, sadness, anger and mamae (deep pain and hurt).

Grief for Grace and her whānau. Sadness at the state of our country. Anger at people who retort 'not all men' instead of listening. Mamae (hurt) that when women from marginalised backgrounds are killed there is no prime ministerial apology or round-the-clock media coverage.

Yet all of the women I know who are organising vigils and campaigns in response to the death of Grace Millane are the same women who organise, write about and work with (and/or are) survivors of gender-based violence themselves. They are the same women who work to raise public consciousness about access to safe and legal abortion or fully funded and culturally appropriate sexual and domestic violence support and prevention services.

Understandably, there has been some hurt and frustration from some people with first-hand experience of gender-based violence about the public outpouring of love for Grace compared with the attention we pay to Māori, migrant, trans or disabled women who are killed in this country. Disabled women are about twice as likely to be victims of violence or abuse compared to other women. Māori are three times more likely to be killed by a partner than non-Māori.

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Grace Millane's death sparks campaign to prevent violence against women

The alleged murder of British backpacker Grace Millane has spurred a campaign to prevent violence against women.

Campaigning organisation ActionStation was asking both the Government and men to take more accountability for violence against women.

ActionStation director Laura O'Connell Rapira said Millane's story had hit home for many Kiwis, including herself. 

She said her group was calling on the Government to invest more in preventing violence against women through a public health framework rather than a criminal one.

"We are also calling on the men of New Zealand to take more accountability for violence against women, making it a men's issue rather than a women's one."

ActionStation previously called for more investment to prevent sexual violence, but Millane's death made the group widen their call, she said.

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Kirsty Johnston: I'm angry about Grace Millane's murder after a year reporting on rape


I was angry before Grace Millane's death and I'm seething now.

In the days following Grace's death, I tried to explain this feeling to the men in my life, to tell them why many women felt so upset by her killing.

"It could have been any of us," I said. "It is a reminder that we aren't yet equal. She was just a kid. She was just trying to live her life."

I watched them grapple with this idea, to try not to get defensive. I wondered how it must feel to be on the other end, to be told that you have the power to be frightening. I felt sorry for them, these men who I love. Right now, however, I'm too tired to make it okay for them. It's been a long year. I'm tired of explaining. I'm tired of feeling second-class. And I'm tired of being angry. It's a burden none of us asked for.

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Rules won’t save women

Karla, Kirsa, Kirsty, Teresa, Christie, Sophie, Grace. Every woman has the name of another who taught them it’s not safe to be a woman. But what are men being taught?

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Here’s where to channel the hurt and rage for Grace Millane

Here are some actions that you can take to redirect your anger and sadness following the death of Grace Millane.

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Anti-violence campaigner in wake of Grace Millane death: Changing Kiwi men's perception of women from 'chattels' to 'human beings'

Kiwi men need to change their attitudes towards women and start treating them as human beings rather than just "chattels" or sexual objects, a leading anti domestic violence organisation says.

Rob McCann, anti-violence campaign manager for White Ribbon New Zealand, said the country's position as holding the worst domestic violence rates in the developed world was not something to be proud of.

"We certainly should not be proud of these figures. It's great, we might have the number one rugby team in the world, but when we have the highest rate of reported domestic violence against women that is not something that we should be proud of."

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Most victims of violent crime in New Zealand are women

The death of British backpacker Grace Millane has renewed the discussion about violence against women in New Zealand, and saw some men resurfacing the #notallmen hashtag in the debate. Stuff data journalist Andy Fyers has taken a look at the numbers to see who the main perpetrators of violence are.

Women make up a majority of the victims of violent crime in New Zealand, while the majority of the offenders are men. 

Data from the police, for the 12 months to September 2018, shows that 54 per cent of the victims of "acts intended to cause injury" (essentially assaults) were female, while 76 per cent of the offenders in these crimes were males.

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Young child comforted at scene of woman's murder in Flat Bush

A man has been charged with murder after a woman, who was first found unconscious with serious wounds in Flat Bush last night, later died in hospital.

Detective Inspector Tofilau Faa Va'aelua of Counties Manukau CIB said police had arrested a man following the death of a 34-year-old woman.

Police were called to an address following reports that a woman had been attacked shortly after 10pm.

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Oranga Tamariki doesn't collate mental illness figures

A psychiatrist says it's a "failing of the system" that Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children, does not know how many children in state care have mental health issues or have attempted suicide.

RNZ asked for the figures and was told the ministry did not collate that information, and that it would not provide the data as it would be too much work.

Psychiatrist Siale Foliaki, who works in mental health services in Auckland's Counties-Manukau district, where there are high numbers of children in care, said that "absolutely concerned" him.

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Number of teens who watch porn 'relatively low'

Opinion - The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) have just released, what is to my mind, a nationally significant document in the findings of the NZ Youth and Porn survey.

The research, surveying over 2,000 New Zealanders aged 14-17 comes at a time when pornography is increasingly in the public eye.

The results of the research certainly make for good reading, offering as they do a snapshot of teenagers responding to a battery of questions ranging from the 'where' and 'how' of pornography viewership, to the 'why' and 'why not' of ready access. Some of the results, however, are confronting in ways that we might not have expected.

For example, the survey indicates that the numbers of teenagers who regularly see pornography come in relatively low, with only 6 percent viewing it weekly, and 7 percent viewing it monthly.

And I must admit these low numbers didn't match my expectations about how frequently teenagers are supposed to view pornography.

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A grim start to the festive season - murder spike rocks New Zealand

It's supposed to be a time of happiness, peace and goodwill to all - but in the last few weeks, instead of Christmas cheer, New Zealand has been rocked by a series of brutal murders.

In the last month at least seven people have died at the hands of another, mostly as a result of a violent incident.

Murder charges have been laid in five cases and the alleged killers will now face the justice system.

The deaths have shocked and saddened people across the country - and the world.

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Migrant women's refuge struggling to stay afloat

The only Wellington refuge set up for migrant women and children suffering domestic abuse is imploring the government for more funding so it can stay afloat.

Shakti delivered a petition to Parliament on Thursday, with more that 5300 signatures calling on the government to provide at least $60,000 in annual contracted funding for the Wellington branch.

Its Wellington refuge helps 300 women and 200 children who are victims of family violence each year.

Originally created to be a drop-in centre, it expanded in 2014 as the new refuge service, after two Wellington women were murdered. The national organisation has been operating in New Zealand since 1995.

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Spare a gift for kids in Women's Refuge

Women's Refuge is appealing to New Zealanders to think of children affected by domestic violence as they make their plans for Christmas.

Bunnings stores nationwide will accept gifts on the children's behalf until Friday December 21. In the very Far North, anyone who can't easily get to a Bunnings store is welcome to leave their contribution with the Northland Age, which will pass them on.

Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said it was not uncommon for women who fled from violent relationships around Christmas to leave with nothing, including presents under the tree. In December last year, almost all of the Women's Refuge safe houses around the country were at capacity, with 1629 children among the occupants.

"Christmas is a particularly stressful time of the year for most people, and the addition of family violence can seriously impact what is supposed to be a joyful and fun occasion for all," Dr Jury said.

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Marilyn Waring: Women's work still ignored

It's the largest single sector in the economy, and yet male chauvinism could mean it remains excluded from Treasury's Living Standards Framework.

It's over 30 years since economist Marilyn Waring pointed out in Counting for Nothing that unpaid work, mainly performed by women, was the unmeasured backbone of the New Zealand economy.

But, in her new book Still Counting, published by BWB Texts, Waring warns that Treasury's bid to start tracking human wellbeing looks set to once again ignore the unpaid sector.

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Mum jailed for abuse so severe her daughter, 12, had to re-learn how to eat

A 12-year-old girl was so badly abused by her mother she had to be taught how to eat again, a court has heard.

Hinerangi Rose Matthews, 38, was jailed for two years and two months when she appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

The defendant, who had sought a term of home detention, sobbed loudly after Judge Kevin Phillips revealed the custodial outcome.

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Former prison officer Jeremy Rhys Lyons jailed for sexually abusing girls

A former prison officer has been jailed for 12 years for sexual offending against two young girls that was "as serious as it gets". 

Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar imposed a six-year non-parole term as part of Jeremy Rhys Lyon's sentence, and praised the courage of both victims who gave evidence against him.

Both girls were aged between 5 and 12 when the abuse happened.

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Former police officer imprisoned for series of historical sex crimes

A former police officer will spend years in prison for committing a series of sex crimes.

Graham Minnell victimised three girls under the age of 12 by sexually violating them in numerous ways and on multiple occasions between 1994 and 2006, amost 30 years after he left the police force.

Minnell, 79, was found guilty of 20 historical sex crimes by a jury at trial in October, the most serious charge and lead offence being rape.

A woman wept in the public gallery of Whanganui District Court when Minnell appeared before Judge Philip Crayton for sentencing on Wednesday.

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Vanuatu, Fiji lead the fight against domestic violence

Pacific island countries are being urged to learn from Vanuatu and Fiji in the fight against violence against women.

The region has one of the world's highest rates of gender-based violence.

Members of the Pacific Network Against Violence Against Women are in Fiji this week to find some solutions, as Christine Rovoi reports.

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Christchurch woman gets life in prison for Christmas Day murder

The Christchurch woman who murdered her partner on Christmas Day in 2016 has been sentenced to life in prison.

After a five-day trial in October, Franchesca Kororia Borell was found guilty of Hardeep Singh's murder after she stabbed him during an argument on Christmas Day. 

The 26-year-old died in hospital due to massive blood loss two days later from a single knife wound. 

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Taxi driver Mandeep Singh sentenced to home detention after indecently assaulting Rotorua passenger

A former Rotorua taxi driver who repeatedly stuck his hand down a woman's top and pants has avoided prison.

Mandeep Singh appeared in the Rotorua District Court this morning after previously pleading guilty to indecently assaulting a female over 16.

Judge Maree McKenzie handed down a sentence including four months' home detention, a $200 emotional harm repayment to the victim, and the first strike of a three-strike warning for major violent and sexual offences.

Judge McKenzie said, "there needs to be a strong message to Singh and other taxi drivers in Rotorua that they cannot abuse their position of trust the way Singh did".

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Woman's temple broken with one punch from partner

A single punch from the father of her child left a woman needing multiple surgeries, after she suffered serious facial fractures.

Kim Hamilton was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure, but pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court on Friday to a downgraded charge of injuring with reckless disregard.

​Hamilton and the victim were in a relationship for about four years before the violent attack in May.

Hamilton's partner had travelled to his Manawatū home from Hastings, where she and their child lived.

She would make the trip every couple weeks so Hamilton could see his child.

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Sex abuse victim describes 'toxic shame' at offender's sentencing

A serial sex offender plied a 16-year-old girl with alcohol then sexually assaulted her during a trip to Kaikōura. 

Adrian Raymond Hogben, 62, still denies offending against the 16-year-old in the late 1990s and High Court Justice Gerald Nation said he had "a high degree of hostility" towards her.

Hogben was found guilty of 10 charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and rape. Justice Nation said some of the offending had involved "premeditation and cunning".

Some of the assaults involved the girl being struck, having a knife held to her, or facing threats to harm her family.

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Category: News Media