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Weekly Media Roundup

March 22, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Stuff: The end of our innocence

On Friday March 15, 2019, a gunman walked into two Christchurch mosques and killed 50 people.

It was a shocking, brutal assault, the kind New Zealanders had told themselves happened only in other countries. But the terror of a hate-filled mass murder had visited our nation now too. This was the end of our innocence.

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RNZ: THEY ARE US

A memorial to the victims of the 15 March 2019 Christchurch terror attacks.

Kia kaha, kia kotahi ra. As-salaam alaikum.

Our strength is our unity. Peace be unto you.

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The Spinoff: This Is Us

The terrorist attacks that tore through the Muslim community in Christchurch also exposed ugly truths about New Zealand. By Toby Morris

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Stuff: Christchurch shootings: The doctrine of white superiority is alive and well in NZ

OPINION: In the wake of this terrible tragedy, let's be honest, for once. White supremacy is a part of us, a dark power in the land.

In its soft version, it looks bland and reasonable. Eminent New Zealanders assure their fellows that Māori were "lucky" to be colonised by Europeans, that te reo Māori is worthless, that tikanga Māori have nothing to teach us.

Others simply assume that ancestral legacies from Europe are superior to those from the Pacific – in the law, science, social and cultural life.

In its hard version, it's violent and hateful, spewing out curses, incarcerating young Māori in large numbers, denying them a decent education, homes and jobs, telling them they have no future, and are better off dead.

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RNZ: Islamic Women's Council repeatedly lobbied to stem discrimination

By Anjum Rahman

Opinion - How does a heart break? Does it shatter into a million pieces? Does is split into two aching, throbbing halves? Does it break with a low keening wail or an earth-shattering scream of pain?

On Friday, we heard the sound of millions of hearts breaking in this country as shots rang out in two mosques in Christchurch.

Time and again, the media have asked me whether or not I was surprised that this attack happened in our country. I will explain to you why I was not surprised. I will try to convey to you my absolute blinding rage.

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Stuff: We must give nothing to racism and Islamophobia

OPINION: The calamity in Christchurch demonstrates that New Zealand's geographical isolation does not protect us from violent, transnational, neo-fascist ideology.

For a long time, Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University has warned about the white supremacist nationalist politics festering in New Zealand. Susan Devoy, our former Race Relations Commissioner, has graphically described how the Muslim community in New Zealand has experienced hatred and abuse in recent years.

In the shadow of the Christchurch attacks, Anjum Rahman ,of the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand, explains that for years Muslim representatives knocked on every door they could, spoke at every possible forum and pointed to the rise of the alt-right in New Zealand. Quaking with rage, she writes: "We warned you. We begged. We pleaded."

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NZ Herald: Islamophobia in New Zealand: where does it come from?

As New Zealand unites in the aftermath of Friday's terror attack, there are calls to finally resolve racism concerns repeatedly raised by Kiwi Muslims.

One leading figure says a new Government-led strategy is needed to address issues her group has exhaustively put to officials over recent years, amid what she described as rising levels of discrimination.

That's ranged from casual racism in the media and online vitriol, to hate speech and harrassment in everyday life.

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The Spinoff: Violence does not exist in a vacuum. Politicians and pundits must stop fuelling Islamophobia

The words of the Christchurch gunman were vile, vicious and unhinged. What they were not was shocking. In fact, they were ordinary, recycled lines from the political mainstream, writes Mehdi Hasan in this post originally published at the Intercept 

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The Spinoff: The land of the long white stain

The killer was an Australian. But New Zealand has a long history of white supremacist ideology, writes Scott Hamilton.

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RNZ: Terror attacks: Fears of a setback in residents' mental health

Christchurch residents may need help to recover from the traumatic shootings at two Christchurch mosques on Friday, a mental health expert says.

The Canterbury District Health Board said it plans to begin to offer support soon.

However, others working in the field say many psychological support workers in the city are already exhausted and there are fears that progress made in people's mental health after the Canterbury earthquakes may be at risk.

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RNZ: Peter O'Connor: connecting to grief through creativity

After a national trauma, creative arts offer us a "bridge towards possibility" both individually and collectively, says Auckland University professor Peter O'Connor, who teaches theatre in schools, prisons, psychiatric hospitals and disaster zones.

"To really connect to the grief, the arts are a way of expressing not just how we think and feel, but they are a way for us to [actually] think and feel, as well."

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Stuff: Is the Kiwi way of life under threat after the terrorist attack in Christchurch?

The Kiwi way of life: What does it mean now in the bloody wake of the Christchurch terror attack?

Across the country, people have been shocked by the news, images and actions around New Zealand's worst mass shooting.

Has this violence shaken New Zealanders to the core? Has it shaken our belief that this little piece of paradise at the bottom of the world was immune to terror?

What if our beliefs were not quite right in the first place?

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Stuff: Christchurch mosque attacks: Kiwis start voluntarily handing in semi-automatic weapons

As the Government promises gun law reforms in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, some Kiwis have already started voluntarily surrendering their legally-held weapons.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday said that several "in principle decisions" on gun law reform have been made by Cabinet, after the mosque attacks which has left 50 people dead.

John Hart, who has been a sheep and beef farmer for 15 years, said he took his semi-automatic weapon into Masterton police station on Monday as he "couldn't in all conscience" keep the rifle after seeing the loss of life in Christchurch.

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Stuff: Jacinda Ardern just proved typically 'feminine' behaviour is powerful

OPINION: Donald Trump telephoned a grieving Jacinda Ardern in the aftermath of New Zealand's largest ever mass murder.

The US President asked what the United States could do and received an answer he can't have been expecting. "Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities," the Prime Minister told him.

Ardern has been widely praised as doing a magnificent job in a situation no national leader should have to face.

In response to unimaginable horror, she is deliberately employing language of empathy not hate. She has chosen a message of togetherness instead of reaching for the easy, crude politics of division that have worked so effectively, and for so many, in the past.

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Statement from the MHF: Extremism is not a mental illness

Following Friday’s appalling terrorist attack, many people have speculated that the terrorist must have been mentally ill. We understand why it’s comforting to think this. We all want to think the terrorist is an outlier, an outsider, different to us. We want to try and understand this incomprehensible tragedy, to find a simple answer that helps to explain what happened, to make sense of the shooting.

But this answer is nothing but a fiction, and it’s one we must not hide behind if we are to heal from Friday’s terrible events. Shooting people is not a symptom of a mental illness. White supremacy is not a mental illness. When we talk about mental illness in relation to these kinds of attacks, most of us aren’t talking about the facts of mental distress; that it is an experience more than half of us will share and a sign that someone needs help and support. Instead, we’re using “mentally ill” as a short-hand for “violent” and “threatening” and “a risk to the community.” This is deeply troubling. 

The terrorist is clearly an extremist, but it is an unfair leap to assume we can blame mental illness for his actions. 

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Newsroom: Mosque shooter no ideological Einstein

The historical ignorance of the terrorist responsible for the Christchurch shootings is palpable and his grasp of contemporary socio-political realities utterly flawed. But this is the stuff of Islamophobia, writes Douglas Pratt 

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Stuff: Clinicians volunteer their weekend to help Kiwis struggling after Christchurch attack

On any other Saturday, the mental health helpline would receive fewer than 100 calls or texts. This Saturday, more than 800 people asked for help.

Although the helpline is now receiving up to 10 times its normal number of calls, Telehealth lead psychiatrist Dr David Codyre​ says that number will grow. Already, he's relying on clinicians donating their time to help callers.

"Typically, we would expect it to peak in the next week to two weeks, before slowly subsiding. A lot of the time, in the immediate aftermath, people are too stuck in shock or reaction," he says.

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NZ Herald: Christchurch mosque shootings: Mental health helpline inundated with calls

A mental health helpline has been inundated with calls following the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch.

"It's had five times the usual volume of calls," a Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman said.

In the wake of the shootings, the DHB has highlighted the national mental health and addictions phone counselling service, which can be reached by calling or texting 1737.

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Stuff: How to take care of your mental health after the Christchurch attacks

The world was saddened and distressed to learn of the shocking Christchurch mosque attacks on Friday, which claimed the lives of 50 people and injured nearly as many. Since then we’ve heard heartbreaking stories of the victims and their families as we try to piece together how this could have happened.

For those at the scene or who were directly affected, such an attack is likely to have enduring physiological impacts. This may include anxiety, disturbed sleep, nightmares, unwanted memories of the event repeatedly popping into their minds, and fear of future attacks.

For people in the community who hear about such events or witness them on television, the news may be distressing but these feelings will typically abate in the following days and weeks.

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Stuff: Egg Boy has given the Fortnite demographic a hero

OPINION: Violence is never to be encouraged in any form, of course, but Egg Boy, aka 17-year-old Melburnian Will Connolly, has given the Fortnitedemographic a hero and I, for one, am not sorry.

Minutes after I read on Twitter about the now infamous cracking of an egg on the side of the head of anti-Muslim immigration senator, Fraser Anning, on Saturday, my resident gamer boy sought me out to show me the video.

He is a lovely young person, at home at the time between long student-job shifts in hospo, but he's also a part of one of the most difficult-to-reach political demographics - teenage boys.

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NZ Herald: Law supporting domestic violence victims start of new employment era: lawyer

An employment lawyer says New Zealand is entering new territory as the Government prepares to roll out a new law to benefit domestic violence victims.

From April 1, victims of domestic violence will be entitled to take 10 days paid leave from work each year or request flexible working conditions under the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act 2018.

The legislation is an update to current law and will no longer require employees to provide proof to access entitlements, though, employers will have provisions to ask for it.

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Stuff: Father of slain daughter to grieve at end of anti-violence tour of NZ

David White's daughter, Helen Meads, was killed by her husband in 2009 but the bereft father hasn't yet allowed himself to grieve.

Instead, White and his wife, Pam, have been helping to raise their grandchildren. White has also been campaigning for an end to family violence, speaking to groups across the country including prison inmates.

"Pam and I never gave ourselves time to grieve because we couldn't afford the time to do it," White said in Nelson, the final South Island destination of his Harm Ends - Futures Begin tour of New Zealand. "We really just live day to day."

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Stratford Press: Opinion: It's time to swap rugby and beer for new ways to be male

Attention men: You need you to read this: It's about 'toxic masculinity'.

Before I start it's important to explain this isn't about targeting all men. There are many wonderful, loving, evolved men out there. This is to address the imbalance of accepted behaviour and societal norms.

Toxic masculinity is the harmful behaviour and attitudes commonly associated with some men. It is the practice that legitimises men's dominant position in society. It regulates the idea that a 'real man' must show exaggerated masculine traits, such as being violent, unemotional and sexually aggressive.

New Zealand has a very prominent masculine culture, partly due to our love of rugby, farming and hard drinking. It has certainly shaped the idea of the 'good keen man', but it has now done a lot of damage to our young men. It creates an unrealistic benchmark that all men have to be like this.

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NZ Herald: Study highlights racism Māori and Pasifika health experts feel on advisory boards

Māori and Pasifika health experts have spoken of racism, feeling "token" and ignored after being selected to take part in health advisory groups.

A study surveyed six Māori and Pasifika with more than 100 years of collective experience in public health about their experiences on government health advisory groups.

They reported their knowledge and interests were often devalued, they felt marginalised and experienced tokenistic engagement and racism.

Māori and Pasifika in New Zealand experience poorer health outcomes than other New Zealanders, and carry the highest burden of disease.

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Stuff: Trial begins for Christchurch father charged with causing grievous bodily harm to baby

A four-week-old boy had 40 broken bones when he was taken to Christchurch Hospital after what was said to be a suffocation incident.

The High Court at Christchurch will hear evidence from experts that there was no explanation for the injuries to Carter Hutton other than "inflicted trauma".

The boy's father, Hayden Anthony Gray, 32, is on trial on two charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm, and one of injuring with intent to injure.

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Stuff: AFL star Tayla Harris calls for change after photo removed due to 'derogatory' comments

AFL women's star Tayla Harris says she feels empowered after the sports community rallied around her following the removal of a photo which had attracted offensive and derogatory comments online.

But the 21-year-old Carlton player has also called for authorities such as the police and social media giants to play a greater role in stamping out the abuse of women on social media.

Channel Seven came under fire on Tuesday night for removing a photo of the AFLW player, which was taken of Harris kicking a goal during the weekend's clash between Carlton and the Western Bulldogs.

The photo of the Carlton star was posted on Tuesday afternoon by the broadcaster's 7AFL social media channels before it was removed about 6.30pm.

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Stuff: Woman lost her 'zest for life' after she was abducted and sexually violated

A young woman was walking to work when she was grabbed, threatened with a knife, dragged into a public toilet and sexually violated.

 

On Friday, Dean Brooks King, 34, was sentenced to eight years and three months imprisonment with a minimum non parole period of five years and six months at the High Court in Auckland by Justice Simon Moore.

 

King pleaded guilty in 2017 to five charges, including sexual violation, abduction for purposes of sexual violation, robbery, assault with a weapon and possession of offensive weapon.

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Stuff: New Zealand's resilience and social connection makes it one of the happiest countries

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released its World Happiness Report.

The report ranks countries on six elements: freedom, generosity, healthy life expectancy, income, social support and trust.

"The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being," John Helliwell, co-editor of the report, told CNN.

That doesn't mean that citizens of countries ranked high in the report walk around smiling all the time, but rather that they are able to push through in moments of crisis and sadness.

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Category: News Media