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Weekly Media Roundup

May 17, 2019 at 12:08 PM

The Spinoff: What even is a ‘Wellbeing Budget’? The Spinoff talks to Grant Robertson

This month sees a landmark moment in the economic approach of the Ardern government, with the first ‘wellbeing Budget’ unveiled. How is it different, and what can we expect? Maria Slade sits down with the finance minister, Grant Robertson

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RNZ: Family violence response programme faces funding cut

A much-lauded family violence programme is set to run out of funding at the end of June, and the police are pleading for more money to keep it running. RNZ understands they won't have to wait too much longer, with an announcement expected this Sunday. RNZ deputy political editor Craig McCulloch has the story.

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Newsroom: A ‘bullsh*t-meter’ for politicians’ claims on crime

The Ministry of Justice has released its most robust research on crime and victimisation to date, but justice policy is rarely based on good evidence. Laura Walters asks whether that's likely to change.

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The Spinoff: A huge chunk of crime affects a tiny group of people. Why?

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RNZ: Almost half of crime experienced by 4 percent of New Zealanders

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Stuff: Largest-ever New Zealand crime survey shows 77 per cent of 'shadow crime' unreported

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Stuff: The Homicide Report: Explaining the Stuff investigation

Compared with the rest of the world, New Zealand does not appear to have a big problem with lethal violence. Our homicide rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people is well below the OECD average of 3.6 per 100,000.

But those numbers mask much bigger, entrenched issues in this country.

For almost three years, Stuff reporters have been carefully assembling, then examining an unprecedented database of homicides in this country.

The result is The Homicide Report, a special investigation that will be published across Stuff publications over the next two weeks.

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Stuff: The Homicide Report: NZ's Family Violence record 'horrific', says Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden says New Zealand's record of family violence is "horrific" and "shocking" and addressing the issue is one of the Government's priorities.

Ardern, who's in Paris, was responding to the findings of a major Stuff investigation - The Homicide Report - which found 134 women - an average of nine a year - were killed by a partner or ex-partner in the past 15 years.

"We have horrific domestic abuse numbers. Women are being repeatedly murdered by their partners. That is a shocking fact for us as a nation."

For that reason the Government had made the issue of family violence one of its priorities for this year's budget, Ardern said.

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Stuff: The Homicide Report gives a detailed account of gun violence in New Zealand

An unprecedented Stuff investigation has identified every homicide in New Zealand in the past 15 years, revealing the vast majority of those who kill with guns are unlicensed and their weapon of choice is often a .22 calibre rifle or shotgun.

The Homicide Report, which has been nearly three years in the making, is the country's first publicly searchable database of homicides. It encompasses 1068 men, women and children killed from January 2004 to March 31, 2019.

The project lays bare the country's appalling record for male aggression, family violence and child abuse.

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Stuff: Warped masculinity is fuelling NZ's fatal family violence problem

While New Zealand's homicide rate is relatively low, the country has some of the highest reported rates of family violence in the developed world. Experts say a warped sense of masculinity is partly to blame. Katie Kenny and Blair Ensor investigate as part of The Homicide Report.

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Stuff: What is overkill, and why is it so common in New Zealand?

Homicides defined as 'overkill' make up over half of intimate partner violence deaths in New Zealand. Tommy Livingston examines this disturbing trend for The Homicide Report.  

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Stuff: The persistent message that 'women are lesser' normalises abuse

OPINION: Last night, I snuggled my son to sleep. He had wanted his mum. As I lay there, listening to his breathing, my thoughts turned to a young girl tucked up in her bed hundreds of kilometres away.

Chozyn Koroheke's daughter is six. Her mummy Chozyn was killed two years ago, shot in the abdomen by her partner while trying to hide in a wardrobe. In their house.

She and her brother are now raised by their grandparents, who tell them mummy is always looking over them. Recently, from her carseat, Chozyn's daughter asked: "Do you think Mummy can see us through the roof of the car?"

The Homicide Report, launched by Stuff this week, paints the most striking picture I have seen of the domestic violence crisis this country is in.

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Stuff: After weeks of silently suffering brutal abuse, Chozyn Koroheke was shot dead by her partner

Jason Koroheke's daughter Chozyn was shot at close range by her abusive partner. He spoke with reporter Edward Gay for The Homicide Report in the hope that others who have loved ones in abusive relationships will speak up before it's too late.

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Stuff: Michelle Lawrence's life could have been protected from the ex-partner who bashed her

Tim Foley fatally bashed his former girlfriend, Michelle Lawrence, days after being trespassed from her property. Lawrence's life could have been spared. Blair Ensor investigates for The Homicide Report.

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Stuff: Flint Wallace was not allowed to have guns - he killed his former partner with a .22 calibre rifle

Police took 36 guns from his home. They revoked his firearms licence. They charged him with assault and he was barred entry to the town where she lived. It wasn't enough. Flint Wallace still found a way to get hold of a gun, terrorise his estranged partner Leigh Wallace and then execute her. Blair Ensor and Tony Wall investigate for The Homicide Report.

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Stuff: Police Minister Stuart Nash backs firearm register, unwilling to limit firearm caches

A firearms register is now firmly on the gun reform agenda after gaining the backing of the Police Minister.

In an interview for Stuff's Homicide ReportStuart Nash said he would be pushing Cabinet colleagues for a firearms register. 

The contentious measure, which links gun serial numbers to licence holders, would be a firm shift in the control of New Zealand's unknown civilian armoury - estimated to be 1.5 million firearms. 

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Stuff: A gun register may help reduce the homicide rate, but it's no sure bet

Connecting the killer to his weapon helped close the case on an infamous murder. A gun register could make that easier, so what's the holdup? Thomas Manch and Tony Wall explain for The Homicide Report.

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Stuff: Seventy homicides a year sounds like a lot, but is it, really?

New Zealand's homicide rate is among the lowest in the world. So what is there to be worried about? Blair Ensor and Katie Kenny report.

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Newshub: Families whose kids were taken by Oranga Tamariki gather for hui

Families struggling with the removal of their children by Oranga Tamariki will gather for a hui in Waikato on Sunday.

Organiser Lou Hutchinson claims that when a child is removed from a family, it is not always justified - which is having a detrimental effect on whanau.

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RNZ: Bullying 'intolerably high' and beyond schools' direct control - ERO

The report said the root of the problem lay beyond the school gate, noting that New Zealand also had poor figures for family and sexual violence and for workplace bullying. It said the problem was a societal one. Schools could play a significant part in addressing it, but the responsibility to bring about lasting change was shared by communities, whānau, and individuals across New Zealand, the report stated.

That was a theme echoed by Dr Shaw.

"I don't think this is just a problem for schools. New Zealand's got issues with workplace bullying, child abuse, family violence, sexual assault. This is a broader societal issue and adults also need to be thinking about the part that they play in this, are they modelling the healthy respectful relationships that we want our kids to have?

"Bullying is not just something that happens, it's not just made up, it's learnt from watching other people exhibit those behaviours themselves."

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Stuff: Youth worker encourages students to take creative action against bullying

Young people are being challenged to think about bullying constructively and creatively, and consider the link between New Zealand's disturbing domestic violence figures and bruises suffered on the playground. 

When bullying is in front of them, kids need to recognise it and respond with courage, says anti-bullying co-ordinator Sarah Scott from Te Manawa Family Services.

Monday signals the start of Bullying Free New Zealand Week and Te Manawa is holding an art competition in Feilding, asking students to think about what they could do to help a friend who was being bullied. 

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NZ Herald: Fighting The Demon: The children of the meth epidemic

A generation of kids is growing up with behavioural and learning problems because their mothers used P while pregnant. Chris Reed reports.

When Peter was 6 he smashed a bike helmet into another child's face.

That school year he caused 180 separate incidents where he had to be taken home or dealt with.

"You've got no idea how aggressive he was," says his grandmother, Sonia. "His face would be distorted like the Incredible Hulk and that would be over the smallest thing. Someone would just have to poke their tongue at him.

"Even at 4 1/2 years of age, when he hit someone it wasn't a slap, it was a full-on beating. That's how much anger and aggression he had in him.

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Newsroom: Racist uplift practice cause for alarm

The racist and classist practice of uplifting children of the poor should be alarming our politicians, writes University of Auckland lecturer and former social worker Dr Ian Hyslop

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Newsroom: Baby saved from uplift

“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.

A 19-year-old mother will stay with her newborn baby after her family, midwives and iwi had an emotion-charged meeting with police, the children's ministry and Hawkes Bay Hospital to stop a threatened 'uplift' of the child.

The case has highlighted the fact three Māori babies are being taken into state custody every week around the country.

And iwi leaders hope the reprieve will lead to an urgent review nationwide of the 'uplifts' of Māori babies - with greater consideration to Māori interventions if needed.

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Stuff: DHB chair would 'seriously consider' policy preventing state uplift of newborns until post-discharge

The chair of a health board at the centre of a high-profile child uplift case says he'd seriously consider a policy preventing social workers taking newborns until after they've been discharged from hospital.

But the Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki, says it has a statutory duty to take prompt action to prevent children suffering harm, abuse and neglect.

Kevin Atkinson, chair of Hawke's Bay DHB, told Stuff a policy preventing uplifts right after birth was an idea he wanted to explore over the coming weeks.

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RNZ: Call for investigation over attempt to remove baby from hospital

An attempt to remove a baby from a teenage mother at Hawke's Bay Hospital last week needs to be investigated independently, a health board member says.

The hospital was put into lockdown after a stand-off between midwives, social workers and police, as they tried to take a newborn baby from its 19-year-old mother due to family violence concerns.

The baby was eventually allowed to remain with its mother under a care plan originally put together by her midwives and whānau.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board member Jacoby Poulain said she was concerned about how the incident was handled by all agencies.

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NZ Herald: The attempt to take Hastings baby: Oranga Tamariki says its sole priority was to keep it safe

Oranga Tamariki has responded to a growing storm around the uplifting of a 7-day-old baby from Hawke's Bay Hospital saying its team were "relentless" about the best cultural approach to take.

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive for services for children and families, Alison McDonald, said the organisation's sole priority and focus was, and still is, to keep the child safe.

The 19-year-old mother will stay with her newborn baby for now after her family, midwives and iwi furiously responded to the children's ministry's attempts to uplift the child this week.

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Newsroom: The safety net catching struggling Christchurch kids

When terror struck in March, there was already a programme in Christchurch schools to help anxious children. David Williams reports.

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Newshub: Schools need to be involved in students' mental wellbeing - Mental Health Foundation

More secondary school teachers need to be trained in promoting wellbeing, the Mental Health Foundation says.

A new survey found only a third of all teachers have training to recognise mental health warning signs and there are fewer trained teachers in lower decile schools.

Foundation CEO, Shaun Robinson, told Newshub there needs to be a school wide approach, rather than a focus on specific students.

"So you're not then stigmatising people who are struggling, you're creating a sense, talking about our feelings, our mental health and wellbeing is a normal part of being in a school, being in a human being."

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Gisborne Herald: Praise for Gisborne response to family violence

Work being done in Gisborne is helping to shape an improved national response to family violence — a problem authorities have labelled a scourge on New Zealand society.

Ministry of Justice under-secretary Jan Logie visited Gisborne on Monday to discuss with stakeholders the government work she is leading in the hope of changing the way the nation responds to family and sexual violence.

At a meeting organised by the Gisborne branch of the New Zealand Law Society, she praised local organisations for initiatives she said were at the forefront of efforts being made to find new ways to support people and make change.

Others across the country were watching with interest the work being done here, Ms Logie said.

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The Spinoff: Everything you need to know about the report into beneficiary fraud investigations

A report into the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) revealed that the means of investigating benefit fraud, in particular, the relationship statuses of beneficiaries, infringed on their right to privacy. The Spinoff explains what the investigation is all about, and why it matters.

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Stuff: Waimate Rugby Club day all about respect, responsibility, and families

It will be a big day in Waimate when the town's rugby club holds its second Respect and Responsibility Family Day and its senior team takes on Celtic.

The Waimate Rugby Club is taking a stand to show its view on domestic violence on Saturday as part of the South Canterbury Rugby Football Union's (SCRFU) Stand Up campaign to end family harm and violence which was implemented in April 2018.

The day includes a barbecue, raffle, and a raft of rugby games, and club secretary Fabia​ Fox Fox said it was a way of putting a "positive spin" on the issue, focusing more on respect, responsibility, and families.

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Bay of Plenty Times: Whānau health and wellbeing target of new wraparound service

Tauranga social agencies are working together in a new pilot project offering wraparound services to families in some of the city's most deprived communities to help improve their health and wellbeing.

This includes enrolling them with a GP and ensuring they get to health appointments, budgeting advice, providing access to drug and alcohol services and assistance into education and training.

He Kokonga Ngākau Whānau Support Service is led by Te Runanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust and supported by social housing provider Accessible Properties, the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation and the Ministry of Social Development.

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Stuff: Hinemoa Elder's campaign to get meth out of the Far North

OPINION: My experience of being a mother called me home this week.

Up to my ancestral home in Te Kao to begin work on a project to get P out of the Far North. It is a subject close to my heart as a mother. We managed to survive P as a whānau. Our big girl has moved so far from those days and I am so proud of her recovery. 

This is a journey for everyone involved. Over the years I have been able to connect more deeply with other mums whose kids have been using P, because I have walked in their shoes. So it is fitting I am here in my own mother's places, with my whānau focussing on this kaupapa. 

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The Spinoff: It beggars belief that we’re still doing this to people clawing their way off welfare

The government’s refusal to take up recommendations by the Welfare Advisory Group that would have incentivised people on a benefit in seeking part-time work is bizarre and mean-spirited, writes Moira Lawler of Lifewise

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Stuff: Man caught with objectionable content happy to be in jail

Most people would not be happy to end up in prison.

But Tony Lawrence Hopton​, it seems, is not like most people.

His lawyer Fergus Steedman​ told the Palmerston North District Court on Friday Hopton was doing well inside Manawatū Prison.

"He is now in a safe environment. When I say safe, I mean having no access to pornography."

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Stuff: Bay of Plenty resort director found guilty of raping foreign workers

The man accused of treating two foreign workers as sex slaves at his Bay of Plenty retreat has been found guilty of rape. 

Former Maraehako Bay Retreat director Pihi Hei had been on trial at the Tauranga District Court on 26 sex charges, including five of sexual violation by rape, and one charge of stupefaction. 

On Thursday the jury returned guilty verdicts to 25 of those sex charges, plus the charge of stupefaction. 

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