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Weekly Media Roundup

May 10, 2019 at 1:52 PM

RNZ: Government sets out how it will respond to historical state abuse inquiry

The government has agreed on principles to guide how government agencies and the Crown responds to the Royal Commission into historical abuse in state care and in the care of faith-based institutions.

The inquiry was formally established in February last year, and is chaired by former governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand.

Its initial scope was to cover circumstances where the state directly ran institutions like child welfare institutions, borstals or psychiatric hospitals, and where the government contracted services out to other institutions, but was later expanded to include children in the care of religious institutions.

Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins said he would lead the Crown's response to the inquiry.

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1 News Now: Government says respect, openness and learning among principles for historical abuse inquiry

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Politik: Minister wants radical new response to abuse inquiry

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Newsroom: Don’t take my baby

A contingent of police officers spent Tuesday night at Hawkes Bay Hospital because of a standoff between midwives, lawyers and whānau and Oranga Tamariki over the uplift of a newborn baby.

Two midwives were locked out of the hospital leaving a 19-year-old mother of the baby alone in a room overnight, while Oranga Tamariki staff and police tried to uplift the child.

The midwives, Ripeka Ormsby and Jean Te Huia, of Māori Midwives Aotearoa, were trying to prevent authorities taking the baby boy from his mother.

Her midwife Ormsby spent the night camped outside the hospital after the midwives' swipe card access was revoked and security prevented them from gaining access.

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Newsroom: Emotional hui protects mother and baby

“I felt like I was in jail and I just got released” a teenage mother who resisted the seizure of her newborn tells Melanie Reid.

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1 News Now: Oranga Tamariki sees increasing number of child removals over 'systemic racism' - researcher

When Oranga Tamariki was created, it came with the promise it would be a vast improvement on Child, Youth and Family, the agency it replaced.

However, two years on, critics are calling for an overhaul over claims the issues are getting worse.

University of Waikato associate professor Leonie Pihama says recent situations such as the attempted removal of a newborn baby from her mother with insufficient evidence in Hawke's Bay and the removal of children from Ngati Kahungunu on their land "was a very clear example of the kinds of things that many whanau are experiencing in terms of the Ministry [for Children] having a very punitive, and often uninformed, approach."

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NZ Herald: Iwi's message to Govt over taken baby: 'Not one more child will be uplifted. We will intervene at all costs'

"Not one more child will be uplifted and iwi will intervene at all costs."

That's the powerful message from Ngati Kahungunu Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana to the Government after a standoff involving police at Hawke's Bay Hospital over a seven-day-old baby boy about to be uplifted by Oranga Tamariki earlier this week.

On Thursday Tomoana and chairman of Takitimu District Māori Council Des Ratima spoke to Hawke's Bay Today about the incident.

Ratima backed Tomoana's call that "not one more child" will be taken.

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RNZ: Oranga Tamariki accused of bullying, racism over removal of baby

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Stuff: A litany of errors led to a toddler's death. Why are his family still waiting for justice?

The family of a toddler who was killed after being sent home from hospital with a broken leg, black fingernails and a missing tooth say they last alerted Child, Youth and Family to concerns just weeks before his death.

Those seeking justice for the death of the toddler, who was killed in October 2015, are frustrated agencies who should have protected the boy let him down – and three and a half years later, they have still not had their day in court.

On Monday, the Health and Disability Commissioner released a report into the care of the toddler at public hospitals before his death. It found the 16-month-old was repeatedly discharged without proper diagnosis of his injuries, or how they were caused.

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NZ Herald: Toddler death: Health Minister expects DHB to review policies

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Toddler dies after hospital staff failed three times to identify possible abuse

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1 News Now: DHB failed child taken to hospital four times before dying - report

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Newshub: Welfare reform: Government announces law changes

The Government will scrap a disciplinary sanction imposed by the former National-led government as part of an "overhaul" of the welfare system.

The sanction cuts income to women and their children if the name of the child's father is not declared. The Government has labelled the sanction "discriminatory".

But a welfare expert advisory group also wanted to abolish sanctions for failing or refusing drug-testing and for breaching arrest warrants - which the Government did not act on.

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Stuff: Removing benefit sanction could help women leave violence relationships, domestic violence charity says

Removing a benefit sanction on solo mothers could mean the difference between a woman being able to leave a violent relationship or not, a domestic violence charity says.

Shine is welcoming a decision by the Government to remove the sanction, which saw solo mothers who did not name their children's father on the birth certificate penalised up to $28 per week.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced the change on Friday in response to a report from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.



Newshub: Oranga Tamariki confident Budget will deliver 'hundreds' more social workers

The head of Oranga Tamariki is hoping for enough money in the upcoming Budget to hire hundreds more social workers.

The organisation, which took over from Child, Youth and Family in 2017, is about to undergo significant changes, chief executive Grainne Moss told The AM Show on Friday.

"We will now be funded to provide a transition service for teenagers that are moving to independence," she explained.

"One of the big things in New Zealand is we do see an intergenerational cycle - one family member has ended up in care, then they have kids that end up in care. How do you break that cycle?"

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ODT: Who is watching the caregivers?

On Christmas Eve, Australia called for public submissions to be made to its Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety - that country’s second investigation of aged care in as many years. In the final part of the Otago Daily Times ageing series, Mike Houlahan looks at what Australia is doing, and what steps New Zealand’s government is taking to ensure older people are safe and well.

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ODT: Abuse rife at mental health facility

There have been nearly 1000 incidents of physical and sexual abuse in two years at a 12-bed Dunedin facility for people with intellectual disabilities.

The physical and sexual assaults at Dunedin's ward 10A have sparked calls for better staffing and facilities.

The Southern District Health Board initially refused to provide any information on incidents within the medium secure service ward of Wakari Hospital, which holds people with an intellectual disability or with both an intellectual disability and mental health issues.

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NZ Herald: New Zealand tried for 20 years to curb its methamphetamine crisis. It failed.

For twenty years, New Zealand fought methamphetamine and lost.

Now, a Herald investigation has examined the impact of the meth epidemic from the inside - spending six months in communities ravaged by meth.

The documentary project, named Fighting the Demon, found a country gripped by the second wave of addiction; where users are punished but not helped; creating one of the most lucrative methamphetamine markets in the world.

"If you were to ask any significant trafficker what is the best market for meth ... they would say Australia and New Zealand," said Drug Enforcement Agency Canberra attache Kevin Merkel.

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NZ Herald: Fighting the Demon

After failing to fix its 20-year methamphetamine crisis, New Zealand is gripped by the second wave of a devastating epidemic. The Herald spent six months with users, recovering addicts and those trying to save them.

The documentary Fighting The Demon takes you inside their world.

Click here to watch the documentary


NZ Herald: Fighting the Demon: Evidence from Professor David Nutt says pleasure of meth overpowers fear of prison in landmark Court of Appeal hearing

The pleasure of methamphetamine is so powerful that the risk of prison does not deter users from feeding their addiction, a world expert on how drugs affect the brain told the Court of Appeal.

And this lack of control damages the frontal lobes of the brain - making people more likely to be violent and commit impulsive crimes such as shoplifting.

That's the evidence of Professor David Nutt, a psychiatrist and professor of neuropsychopharmacology in London who has published more than 500 research papers and books on the effect of drugs on the brain.

His research has changed drug policies in the United States, Finland and Sweden and he has been appointed as an advisor to the United Kingdom government on drug laws.

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NZ Herald: Fighting the Demon: Police project Te Ara Oranga helps meth addicts see the light

Blair is part of Whangārei's methamphetamine harm team, one part of a collaboration with the local health board named Te Ara Oranga. Since 2017, the team has been trialling a new way of working. Usually, that doesn't involve kicking down doors, but focuses on getting addicts into treatment instead.

The week of the raid on Robson's house in June 2018, police arrested 22 alleged methamphetamine dealers in towns across Northland. The arrests made headline news. But the meth team also referred more than 100 users to treatment. During the Operation Ghost investigation process the intelligence officers had worked the entire supply chain, not only identifying the dealers, but tracking down anyone else who messaged the targets' phones as well.

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NZ Herald: Fighting the Demon: Inside the criminal evolution of methamphetamine in NZ

Power, P Cooks and profit. Methamphetamine changed the criminal underworld forever in New Zealand 20 years ago and the lucrative market keeps evolving.

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The Spinoff: Media and meth: The NZ Herald goes deep on the destructive drug

The NZ Herald today launched a new, wide-scope documentary into the effect methamphetamine has on small town New Zealand. Alex Braae talks to one of the journalists involved, Jared Savage, about the process of getting it made, and how his views on the meth trade have changed over his decade reporting on it.

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Times Online: Father of murdered daughter on a mission to change lives

Bang. He put a shotgun to her throat and killed her from close range.

When the police knocked at David White’s door to inform him that his daughter Helen had been shot by her husband Greg Meads, a feeling of shock and intense grief took over as his life flashed past him.

The last 10 years saw him move home to Matamata to be close to his daughter and included talks about fixing things, working on the stud farm with her while thinking the threats and abuse were one-off incidents.

“What an idiot I had been to never once see a pattern to the violence,” White said.

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Stuff: Domestic abuse survivor faced deportation after she left violence husband

A woman, who was physically and psychologically abused by her New Zealand-resident husband for years, faced deportation after her application for residency was declined when she left him.

The 31-year-old woman from Tonga, a mother of two young children who are New Zealand citizens, now has a sense of security after the Immigration and Protection Tribunal found it would be "unduly harsh" to deport her and granted her permanent residency on humanitarian grounds. 



Stuff: Ex-All Black Carl Hayman's domestic violence punishment questioned

A leading family violence educator is concerned ex-All Black Carl Hayman has gone relatively unpunished.

Hayman, 39, was this week was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence in France.

It was reported Hayman faced several counts of violence against his wife between 2016 and 2018, including "a powerful slap" necessitating three days off work. Hayman was also charged with psychological damage, nuisance calls and insults.

Associate Professor Janet Fanslow from the University of Auckland said it's particularly concerning when high-profile people wind up getting off with limited punishment.

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Stuff: Pope Francis issues new law making it mandatory to report sexual abuse

Pope Francis issued a groundbreaking law Thursday requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-up by their superiors to church authorities, in a groundbreaking new effort to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks.

The new church law provides whistle-blower protections for anyone making a report and requires all dioceses around the world to have a system in place to receive the claims confidentially. And it outlines procedures for conducting preliminary investigations when the accused is a bishop, cardinal or religious superior.

It's the latest effort by Francis to respond to the global eruption of the sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has devastated the credibility of the Catholic hierarchy and his own papacy. And it provides a new legal framework for US bishops to use as they prepare to adopt accountability measures next month to respond to the scandal there.

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RNZ: Whanganui man accused of murdering partner named as MP's brother

A Whanganui man accused of murdering his partner and leaving her body in an apartment for days has been named as Eric Mete, the brother of Labour MP Kiri Allan.

Name suppression lapsed for the 50-year-old labourer when he appeared in the Whanganui District Court this morning.

Mr Mete was charged with murder a month ago after police found the body of 41 year-old Lorna-Anne Thompson in an apartment on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Ingestre Street.

Ms Allan has spoken of the devastation within her wider whānau over the murder charge.

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NZ Herald: Dunedin father sentenced: He 'hit children, threatened to shoot horse'

A Dunedin man who hit his children and stepdaughter with his hands and a wooden spoon over an eight-year period also threatened to shoot a pet horse in front of them, a court has heard.

A 47-year-old man appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

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Stuff: Brother in court after pushing his pregnant sister

A man who attempted to "talk some sense" into his pregnant sister ended up in court after a confrontation over her lifestyle escalated. 

But Paul Fraser Tuuta was discharged without conviction, pending a payment to charity, when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday on charges related to the incident. 

On December 28, Tuuta, 35, went to the Taranaki home of his sister, who was three months pregnant at the time, to express concern for her lifestyle.

Despite being asked to leave multiple times, he began to shout, swear and threaten the woman.

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Sun Live: Second witness gives evidence in BOP rape trial

Isolated and trapped, a Japanese exchange worker has recounted how she was allegedly treated as a sex slave and raped daily by the director of an Eastern Bay of Plenty retreat.

The woman, who cannot be named, gave evidence during the third day of the trial of Maraehako Bay Retreat director Pihi Hei.

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Stuff: Timaru man jailed for sexual relationship with 14-year-old girl

A Timaru man who admitted engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl has been jailed for three years.

Timothy Francis Rae, 39, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and registered as a child sex offender after pleading guilty to 10 charges of unlawful sexual connection with a young person and three of doing an indent act with a young person, when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday.

Rae had sex with the victim multiple times, on one occasion filming the encounter with his phone, between September 30 and December 27, 2017.

Following the final occasion, the victim told her family about the relationship and underwent a medical examination.

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Stuff: Two men found not guilty in Hawke's Bay rape trial

A jury has found two men not guilty of raping a woman in a Napier hotel room.

Joshua Pauling and Jason Trembath, both 30, have been on trial in Napier District Court this week facing a raft of charges in relation to events that occurred on the evening of August 14, 2017.

Both men said the woman had consented to all sexual activity.

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Category: News Media