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Weekly Media Roundup

April 05, 2019 at 11:33 AM

RNZ: 'Heartbreakingly incomprehensible' murder of former partner

The brutal stabbing of a woman as she held her young child in her arms has been described as "heartbreakingly incomprehensible".

Xi Wang, 34, was murdered by her ex-partner, Ephraim Joseph Beazley, at the entrance of her Flat Bush home in December.

Beazley, who pleaded guilty to her murder last month, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years at the Auckland High Court this afternoon.



Stuff: Child welfare concerns on the rise in Hawke's Bay, according to Oranga Tamariki figures

Another child taken from their parents, another sad story of abuse, neglect or serious welfare concerns.

Despite a flurry of recent headlines regarding Oranga Tamariki revealing the extent of abuse of children in state care, and changes to the way the children's ministry operates coming into effect in July, there's still concern from experts about the cascade of factors on the ground contributing to the harrowing statistics.



The Spinoff: Don’t be the employer that asks for proof of domestic violence

A new law makes domestic violence a workplace issue but does not spell out how businesses should respond, and even allows the employer to seek proof, writes Shine’s Holly Carrington.

Read more…


Newshub: Domestic violence leave no problem, employers say

National says victims of domestic violence who need time off work should take it out of their existing holiday and sick leave allowances.

From Monday, employees will be eligible for up to 10 days' leave a year if they're suffering violence at home, or have to care for a child suffering violence, on top of existing leave entitlements.

"We've got horrific, just heartbreaking rates of family violence in this country, and we can do something about that," Green MP Jan Logie, who introduced the Victims' Protection Bill last year, told Newshub.



Stuff: More domestic violence victims expected to come forward as new law dawns

Some are "intimate terrorists" making home lives a violent hell for the people they claim to love.

Others quietly sabotage their partners in ways that make them fail at work.

A new law aimed at tackling the impact of these domestic abusers takes effect on Monday.



Māori Television: New law change for domestic violence survivors

A new law change allowing workplaces to be a part of the solution to domestic violence will be put into action tomorrow.

As part of the Victims Protection Act, all victims of domestic violence will be able to get support from their employers to stop violence and get help without worrying about losing their jobs.

It comes after research shows New Zealand to have the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world, with New Zealand Police attending a family violence-related call out every four minutes.

According to Te Puni Kōkiri, Māori students are twice as likely as European students to report witnessing adults hit children in their homes.



Scoop: Maori Council to make a move on care and protection of kids

Press Release: Maori Council

The New Zealand Maori Council is launching a new campaign to highlight the number of Maori Children in State Care and the increasing numbers who are being abused. Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of Council has said its time to have an accounting of where things are at and why things are so wrong when it comes to Maori Children:

“This new campaign is going to bring some home truths to the debate and the narrative around what is happening with our tamariki in State Care. The reality is that of the 220 that were abused in State Care last year 70.1% of them were our children. More than half of all children in care are Maori and the truth is we seem to be seeing an increase in the rapidity of those being taken into care.” Tukaki has said



NZ Herald: Call for independent Māori children's commissioner over 'shocking' rates of abuse in state care

The Māori Council is calling for an independent commissioner to hold the Government to account on "shocking" rates of Māori child abuse in state care.

Executive director Matthew Tukaki said the country was developing its own "stolen generation" of Māori children, referencing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children taken from their families in Australia.

Oranga Tamariki released data in March showing as of June last year, there were 6350 children and young people in state care in New Zealand, 59 per cent who were Māori.

In the last six months of 2018, 227 of those children were found to have been harmed, with about 70 per cent Māori.



RNZ: Young Māori over-represented in state care and detention

The Māori Council says more research needs to be done into the high levels of state care and abuse of Māori children.

Māori children make up 59 percent of all children in care.

Oranga Tamariki shows more than 220 children placed in state care were abused last year and 70 percent of those children were Māori.

Council executive director Matthew Tukaki told Morning Report questions needed to be asked of both the government and whānau.



Newshub: Oranga Tamariki 'smacks of racism' - Dame Tariana Turia

Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has rated her organisation seven to eight out of 10, despite 220 children being harmed in its care over six months in 2018.

An overhaul of Child, Youth and Family two years ago promised a far-reaching system change, which would reduce disparities for Māori, form aspirational iwi partnerships and focus on raising Māori success. 

Instead, the number of tamariki Māori in the care of Oranga Tamariki has risen while the number of non-Māori has stayed the same, and in the past six months an investigation has found 220 vulnerable children - the majority of which are Māori - have been harmed in the care of the organisation, tasked and funded to protect them.

Read more…


Stuff: Two years as Oranga Tamariki: Getting whānau back into children's lives

Eva Tutemahurangi was 50-years-old when her son's children slowly began making their way into her care.

Now 70, Tutemahurangi wasn't expecting more children to look after - all were under six, the youngest was eight months - but recalls the fight to get the former Child Youth and Family (CYF) to agree to put them into her care. 

"You feel like it's an imposition. All I wanted to do was look after my grandchild, but suddenly I was being scrutinised. Was I a suitable person? There was also whānau versus whānau. It wasn't easy, but I can see some changes coming that will make it easier." 



Stuff: Plea to Oranga Tamariki: Lock our grandson up 'before he kills himself or somebody else'

A 14-year-old boy in the care of the state hasn't been to school since he was 11 and often sleeps rough in abandoned houses. He has entrenched alcohol and drug problems, and a vast criminal record with a newfound love for stealing cars. How did it get to this point and what facilities and support exist for this teen? Charlotte Carter reports.

Read more…


Stuff: Chief social worker chased out the door with a broomstick

Grant Bennett is the chief social worker for Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children, formerly Child, Youth and Family. He has been a social worker for 30 years. Monday marks two years as the new agency, and Bennett recalls his first day on the job.

Read more…


RNZ: Kawerau town's gang family children studying for police career

Children of Kawerau's established gang families are seeking futures in the police thanks to an unconventional programme at the local high school.

With lived experience of crime, drugs and violence, and a determination to protect others from similar trauma, police say these teenagers would make excellent recruits.

Two of her brothers are Black Power, and her uncles and koro are Mongrel Mob - but if Olivia* has her way, she will be the first person in her family to join the police.

"I just want to go the other way," she says, quietly.



RNZ: Child poverty a 'recurring and inescapable challenge'

It was lauded as groundbreaking legislation, introduced as a top priority by the Prime Minister herself and nearly unanimously supported by Parliament.

So what inroads have been made to help the 100,000 children living in poverty since the Child Poverty Reduction Bill was passed in December?

And is there still the same drive to improve the lives of the country's most vulnerable citizens - the subject of such impassioned rhetoric when the coalition government came into power?

Yesterday, Stats NZ released a set of data that will underpin the government's plans.

Some 16 percent of children are living in households with disposable household income less than half the median income, the report said.

That jumps to 23 percent - 250,000 children - once housing costs are deducted.



RNZ: Family Court's lawyer spend rises, despite 'cost-cutting' reforms

Spending on lawyers in the Family Court has rocketed, despite reforms five years ago aimed at slashing the court's running costs.

The previous government made the changes with the promise they would put children at the heart of the court's work and save money.

Those changes were aimed at encouraging parents to resolve access and care disputes without having to go to court with a lawyer.



Stuff: Leading health groups work together to tackle New Zealand's 'outdated' drug laws

Seven leading health and social justice organisations have banded together to help tackle New Zealand's "outdated approach to drugs".

The new campaign, titled Health Not Handcuffs, supports the removal of criminal penalties for drug offenders and a move towards a health-referral model.

It aims to "demonstrate widespread support among New Zealanders for significant reform" to our country's drug laws and "give people a hand up not a lock up," their website said.

The NZ Drug Foundation was one of the group's founding members and its executive director, Ross Bell, believed the opportunity to change our drug laws was now.

"With the Government soon to make key decisions on the wellbeing budget, the details about the cannabis referendum and how to respond to the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry, there is now an opportunity for major transformation of New Zealand's approach to drugs."



Calls grow for roll-out of drug courts across New Zealand

A roll-out of drug courts across New Zealand - including Waikato - could help shrink the country's burgeoning prison population and put a major dent in drug-fuelled crime.

The success of a seven-year pilot of alcohol and drug treatment courts in Auckland and Waitakere has added weight to calls for the courts to be introduced in Waikato.

The region has one of the highest rates of meth dependency in the country.

Drug courts have proven successful overseas, with more than 2800 courts operating in the United States.



Newsroom: What too much screen time can do to kids

Alarm bells are ringing for New Zealand health professionals who say that current levels of screen use in schools and for homework are putting children’s physical and mental development in jeopardy. 

In the 18 months since the previous Government launched its digital shake-up of education, an increasing number of studies have suggested that high screen use is linked with detrimental effects on children’s health and wellbeing. 



Newshub: How to stop your child becoming an internet troll, according to an expert

An expert who studies the murky world of internet trolls says they each have one thing in common.

Ginger Gorman, author of Troll Hunting, has spent years researching the social media underworld, including the lives of some of the world's darkest online personas.

"The predator trolls in my book are connected to terrorism, they're connected to murder, they're connected to domestic violence, they're connected to real-life stalking and they're connected to incitement to suicide - and that's just for starters," Gorman told The Project.



Stuff: Q+A: Troll hunter Ginger Gorman on the Christchurch mosque shootings and cyberhate

On March 15, a gunman shot dead 50 people in two Christchurch mosques. It was the worst terror attack and deadliest mass shooting in modern New Zealand history. It was also a symptom of a growing, global problem: online hate and its real-world consequences.

We don't yet know all the details about the attack. It would be unfair to blame technology entirely, given Islamophobia and white nationalism existed long before online forums. 

But technology played a big part. The gunman was likely radicalised by the alt-right (a fringe, fascist movement found mostly online). Before the attack, he set up social media accounts, posted photos of his weapons, and linked a rambling manifesto referencing internet subculture. He live-streamed the attack on Facebook, and from there it spread around the world. 

Earlier this year, I read "Troll Hunting" by Australian journalist and cyberhate expert, Ginger Gorman. Over five years, Gorman gained unprecedented access to the lives and thoughts of numerous predator trolls — people who threaten or attack individuals or groups through the use of electronic devices, causing real-life harm to their targets. Many of the world's most notorious predator trolls are white supremacists. 

Read more…


RNZ: Gun law change fast-track has 'outpaced' gun lobby - academic

The speed with which the government has fast-tracked changes to firearms laws has left the gun lobby in a spin, according to an Australian academic.

By the end of next week, politicians expect the Arms Amendment Bill to come into force.

It will ban semi-automatic weapons and military style semi-automatics, with the exception of shotguns and low-calibre rifles.



Stuff: Anti-violence campaigner says working with abusers key to addressing problem

Reaching out to the perpetrators of family violence is key to breaking the cycle of abuse, says a man whose daughter was murdered by her husband.

David White's daughter Helen died in September 2009 when Greg Meads, a wealthy horse breeder from Matamata, shot her in the throat at close range. 

There had been a history of abuse within their relationship and Greg Meads is currently serving a life sentence for the crime.

On Thursday, White told the audience at the New Plymouth leg of his nationwide 'Harm Ends, Futures Begin' speaking tour, that he and his family supported Greg Meads' parole from prison when he becomes eligible in 2021, as it was in the best interests of his and Helen's children.



Stuff: Murder victim's dad calls for stop to family violence

After David White's daughter was shot in the throat by her husband he didn't feel like a non-parole period of 11 years was long enough for her life. 

Now, he is advocating for his daughter's killer to get parole at the earliest possible time, as he says 11 years is too long for Gregory Meads' children to be without their father. 

White is travelling around New Zealand to talk about family violence and was in Palmerston North on Monday as part of the tour where he is visiting the 71 electorates in 71 days.

David and Pam White's daughter, Helen, was killed by Meads after she announced she wanted to end the marriage. 



ODT: Meth and bad housing fuelling huge spike in Dunedin family violence

Methamphetamine, the housing crisis and more people reporting incidents have contributed to a big rise in family harm reports in Dunedin, police say.

Family harm investigations in Dunedin jumped from 28 in May 2018 to 142 in June 2018, rising steadily from there to reach a peak of 195 in January this year before dropping to 183 in February, according to the most recent police data.

The police are increasing the number of officers in the city focused on family harm, as a new police-sponsored initiative aimed at reducing domestic violence is introduced in the South.

Read more…


RNZ: Royal Commission criticised for slow action on abuse documents

An abuse survivor has criticised the slow action to stop the destruction of documents relevant to the Royal Commission's inquiry into the abuse of children.

The government expanded its inquiry into the abuse of children in state care to include those in the care of religious institutions late last year.

The government's chief archivist introduced a moratorium on Thursday prohibiting government agencies from disposing of potentially relevant information, at the request of the Royal Commission.

Faith-based institutions are expected to do the same but Steve Goodlass, a victim of abuse by a Marist Brother, said the documents did not fall under any protection for months.



NZ Herald: 'Denial of responsibility': Man jailed for sexually abusing and killing his step-daughter in Napier declined parole

A man jailed for sexually abusing and killing a five-year-old girl in Napier in 2010 still has "considerable work" to do before he can be let out into the community, pyschologists say.

Former Whanganui man Kerry Charles Ratana was denied parole in his first appearance before the Parole Board since he was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing the step-daughter he had already admitted killing.

Although he pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter, Ratana, 32, denied sexually abusing his former partner's daughter Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro.

He's serving a total sentence of 16 years and six months' imprisonment.



Stuff: Timaru man admits causing 23 fractures to baby's ribs

A Timaru man has admitted squeezing and punching a two-month-old baby causing numerous fractures to her ribs along with breaks to an elbow, wrist and knees.

Timothy John Dyer, 30, pleaded guilty to a representative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard when he appeared before Judge Allan Roberts in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday.

In a police summary of facts, Detective Constable Sam Hawker, of Timaru, said the child suffered 23 fractures to her ribs, breaks to her right elbow, right wrist, and knees, and a bruise to her left cheek as a result of Dyer's abuse between March 25 and April 18, 2017.



Stuff: Auckland paedophile jailed for sexual offending and grooming two young girls

A man who put a set of drawers against a door while he attempted to rape a young girl has been jailed for eight years and seven months.

James Anthony Nielsen, 52, appeared at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday where he was jailed after admitting sexual offending and grooming two young girls.

Justice Gerard Van Bohemen sentenced Nielsen to three charges of sexual violation one charge of attempted rape and two charges of indecent assault on a child under 12-years-old.



NZ Herald: 'I just kept my eyes closed' - jury hears details of alleged abuse on boy by Ratana Church minister

WARNING: This story contains descriptions of child sexual abuse. Please take care.

A jury has heard how an 11-year-old boy "wriggled" around in his bed "like hell" to avoid being sexually assaulted by a man who would go on to become a senior minister in the Ratana Church.

The complainant, now an adult, is giving evidence against Nehemia at a trial in the Auckland District Court.

He is one of three men who allege Nehemia sexually abused them as children over a 20-year period between the 70s and 90s.



Stuff: Porse caregiver guilty of causing brain damage to baby in her care, twice

A Porse caregiver has been found guilty of inflicting brain damage to a baby in her care, twice.

On Tuesday the former professional Napier caregiver Margaret Esltone, 63, was found guilty of two charges of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for the safety of a child, following a four day judge-alone trial last week.



NZ Herald: Young Auckland solo mum loses appeal over jail term for pimping out 14-year-old

A young Auckland solo mum who was jailed for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl has lost a Court of Appeal challenge over her sentence.

Monika Rachael Kelly, 21, was sentenced last year by Justice Mathew Downs to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment.



NZ Herald: Victim's secret recording helps put offender behind bars

A victim of sexual abuse turned detective when she secretly recorded the perpetrator 30 years later and took it to police.

Police say the audio was instrumental in helping them put Arthur (Art) Alan Green, 73, behind bars.

Green was sentenced to two and half years in jail after he was convicted on two charges of indecent acts with a girl under 12, two charges of indecent acts with a girl aged 12-16 and assault with intent to injure.


Category: News Media