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2019

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Weekly Media Roundup

August 16, 2019 at 10:39 AM

Newsroom: ‘No second chance’ to fix child welfare system

New Zealand has another chance at revolution when it comes to its child welfare system - but can the country succeed where it failed three decades ago?

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1 News Now: 'I've seen the dark sides of this country' – Oranga Tamariki social workers describe working on the frontline

Oranga Tamariki’s job is to protect New Zealand's most vulnerable children, but recently social workers have been under the microscope.

The agency has been accused of "stealing" Māori children and failing to protect those already in care.

Social workers on the frontline say the New Zealand public hasn’t heard the full story.

Sunday’s Jehan Casinader spent time with social workers in the Bay of Plenty to experience first hand what they deal with on a daily basis.

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Stuff: Let's direct our anger to the real cause of child abuse, not the social workers

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Newshub: New Zealand's first sexual violence court shown to be quicker, less painful process for victims

A report into the first sexual violence court shows it's been a quicker and less painful process for victims. 

The judge overseeing the court says it has been a clear success, yet Justice Minister Andrew Little says there's no immediate funding commitment to extend the court nationwide. 

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1 News Now: Victims can take part in Royal Commission into state abuse without breaching Crown confidentiality causes

People abused state care and faith-based institutions bound by Crown confidentiality obligations can take part in the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The Government announced today Crown agencies agreed to waive confidentiality clauses from abuse settlements for the inquiry. 

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said the wavers would be implemented "so survivors can be confident about coming forward and speaking freely". 

"Survivors must be heard, and feel heard," he said. "The Commission must be able to question witnesses without them feeling tied down by any confidentiality obligations they may have signed with Crown agencies."

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RNZ: Vic Tamati: Walking away from violence

Growing up in a violent environment, Vic Tamati took that baggage with him into his own parenting. And it wasn't until his wife was forced to take their six kids to a refuge to protect them from him that he sought some help for his anger.

He is now a success story and runs a volunteer network called Safe Man Safe Family around the country.

Tamati says one of the main problems with perpetrators is that they don’t necessarily see themselves as inflicting violence. He, too, didn’t know it when he used to be violent towards his own family.

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Newsroom: Borrows’ sense of justice guides sector reform

Haunting experiences have given cop-turned-politician Chester Borrows the empathy needed to lead justice system reform. Laura Walters spent a day with Borrows in South Taranaki, ahead of the release of Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora's final report.

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Stuff: More re-offending but less harm from marae-based justice scheme

Marae-based justice panels have been gradually scaled up since an initial trial in 2010. Evidence on their effectiveness in a new assessment is mixed. National Correspondent Carmen Parahi reports.

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Stuff: Auckland woman catches her rapist with recorded confession

A woman who was raped and sexually violated as a child sent the perpetrator to court after getting his confession over the phone. 

Aroha* was just 10 years old when Seetha Rama Rao Salvaji​, then in his 30s, began sexually abusing her. The abuse continued for the next two years.

At first, the Auckland woman stayed silent. But 14 years later, she told her family and the police, and the next year, she called Salvaji and recorded his confession.

That was used as evidence at his trial in the Auckland District Court this year, and Salvaji, a former Department of Corrections employee, was sent to prison for 14 years.

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RNZ: Drinking damage: Call for national plan to stop alcohol harm

Public health experts say it's high time that politicians realised the dangers posed by alcohol and did much more to curb its use.

But a seminar organised by Alcohol Action New Zealand in Wellington yesterday also heard that politicians couldn't be relied upon to lead change.

It's been 10 years since the Law Commission reviewed alcohol laws, recommending major changes, including increasing the price to reduce consumption.

But the then-commission head Sir Geoffrey Palmer said their most important recommendations were not adopted.

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Stuff: Sri Lankan woman raped, beaten by husband granted refugee status in New Zealand

A survivor of domestic violence whose husband repeatedly strangled her in front of their young son has been granted refugee status.

The woman's application was initially declined by a refugee and protection officer but that decision was overturned after she took her case to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal at Auckland in June.

The tribunal's decision, released this month, said the 39-year-old and her 12-year-old son would be persecuted if they returned to their birth country of Sri Lanka.

The tribunal heard that the woman's husband had regularly beaten, raped and verbally abused her since the couple wed in 2005 and beaten their son when he tried to protect his mother.

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Stuff: Woman charged with murder after body found in New Plymouth

The death of a woman in New Plymouth on Tuesday night is family harm related, police have revealed. 

A homicide inquiry was launched following reports of a body at a house in the Whalers Gate area about 5.30pm.

Police attended an address on Fantome Pl and found a 72-year-old woman dead.

A 49-year-old woman appeared in New Plymouth District Court today charged with her murder. She has not entered a plea. 

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