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Weekly Media Roundup

September 06, 2019 at 10:02 AM

RNZ: Social service providers point to $630m shortfall in funds

Social agencies are demanding action to fill a huge funding gap which they say makes it impossible for them to help people as well as they could.

new report has found there's a $630 million gap between what the government contracts social service charities to do, and the actual cost of doing the work.

The government acknowledges there is a funding gap, saying there is work to be done - but it's still deciding on what to do.

The report, commissioned by Social Services Providers Aotearoa, has found the government provides less than two-thirds of the actual cost of the work charities and social services are contracted to do.

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Stuff: Social workers call for pay increase as wages differ by $30,000 across sector

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RNZ: Whistle-blowers expose bullying at Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women's Refuge

Whistle-blowers have lifted the lid on bullying, unsafe work practices and theft at Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women's Refuge.

A damning report has backed workers' claims and highlighted serious breaches of Social Sector Accreditation standards.

Te Whare Pounamu has been characterised by staff as a toxic and dysfunctional work place.

One where the needs of management are put before clients, bullying is rampant and a sense of entitlement has extended to stealing donations intended for vulnerable women and children.

The claims are backed by investigations carried out by Deloitte and the Ministry of Social Development.

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Scoop: Mental health services must address family violence response

Press Release: Health Quality and Safety Commission

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) is calling for mental health and addiction services to act as allies for family violence victims. The FVDRC is an independent committee that reviews and advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission on how to reduce the number of family violence deaths.

Between 2009 and 2015, there were 92 intimate partner violence deaths in NZ. Where there was a recorded pattern of abuse, in 98 percent of the relationships, the woman was identified as the primary victim.

In a paper published by the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, co-author Dr Jacqueline Short says there is a strong association between family violence and mental health and addiction issues in Aotearoa NZ which requires a comprehensive and equitable health system response.

‘People who experience and use violence within their whānau are often known to mental health and addiction services.'

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Scoop: Specialists in family violence sector unite

Press Release: Womens Refuge

Women’s Refuge and the National Network for Stopping Violence Services NZ have formed a coalition to unite their voices as specialist workers in the family violence sector.

The National Coalition of Domestic Violence Specialist Service Providers will launch at a conference this month to focus on the importance and value of specialists working in family violence, and why the government needs to value and invest in these services.

The Coalition members are concerned that the government’s contracting practices in the sector have diminished the value of specialisation in favour of more generalist services. After years of these practices pitting agencies against each other in order to compete for funding, the Coalition decided to unite their voice and advance their relationships.

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Stuff: Ban on questioning sexual reputation among 12 recommendations for improvements to Evidence Act

The Government looks set to introduce a ban on evidence or questioning someone's sexual reputation during sexual violence court cases.

On Monday, Justice Minister Andrew Little tabled the Government's response to the Law Commission's review of the Evidence Act 2006, confirming that further changes were required.

It was already progressing six of the Commission's recommendations that were made in March, relating to Sexual and family violence, which will be included in legislation to be introduced later this year.

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Newshub: 16 years of cruelty: How one woman managed to escape and rebuild her life

Warning: This story contains vivid descriptions of domestic violence and cruelty, and the video contains language that may offend. Discretion is advised. Helplines can be found below.

Zania McCauley describes surviving almost two decades of physical and sexual violence at the hands of her former partner as a bad nightmare you're waiting to wake up from.

The 44-year-old was in a relationship with Hoani John Chase for 16 years after a chance encounter at a party in the late 1990s.

She's telling her story for the first time to Three's The Hui to help other women who are in a similar situation break free.

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Newsroom: NZ must do better on children’s rights

When it comes to children's rights, New Zealand doesn't get to cherry-pick

Leading international experts at a Victoria University of Wellington co-hosted symposium to mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child challenged New Zealand to increase its awareness and implementation of the Convention.

New Zealand ratified the Convention in 1993, but although it is more explicitly referenced than before as a result of the July 1 amendments to the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, it still falls well short of full incorporation into law, as Scotland has committed to before the end of its current Parliamentary session in 2021.

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RNZ: 'Horrifying' numbers of self-harm incidents in youth justice facilities

Official figures have revealed there were 135 incidents of self-harm in youth justice facilities in the last five years.

In that same period there were seven suicide attempts, including self harm and attempted self harm, by young people in police cells - one in 2016 aged just 13.

Youth justice organisation JustSpeak director Tania Sawicki Mead said the figures were horrifying.

"We are talking about some of New Zealand's most vulnerable children who are in these conditions," she said.

"I think it's incredibly important to start thinking about what are the alternatives to being held in youth justice facilities or police cells."

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RNZ: Holding young people in police cells sometimes only practical option - minister

The Minister for Children Tracey Martin will not outlaw youth detention in police cells, despite widespread agreement it's an unsuitable practice, because she says there's sometimes nowhere else they can go.

She said there was a clear consensus from youth lawyers, advocates, Oranga Tamariki and Police that adult cells were not the right place for vulnerable young people.

But in some cases detaining them there was the only practical option so banning the practice was was not a viable option.

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Stuff: Prisoners share experiences with Royal Commission abuse in care inquiry

Inmates who were abused as children by the people supposed to care for them have started addressing the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Private sessions have started at three prison sites nationwide with survivors who registered with the commission.

The vast majority of people under the age of 20 who started a sentence with Corrections last year had a state care and protection or youth justice background.

"It is particularly important to reach Māori survivors because we know that Māori are disproportionately over-represented in both care statistics and in the prison population," commissioner Dr Anaru Erueti said.

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The Spinoff: Free school lunches is just part of something much, much bigger

Last week saw the publication of the new Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, on which the future of New Zealand quite literally depends, writes Claire Achmad of Barnardos.

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RNZ: Call for compulsory anti-bullying programmes in all schools

The Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft wants anti-bullying programmes in schools to be compulsory.

His recommendation follows a report by the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, which condemned an Auckland school's poor response to a series of serious bullying complaints.

Judge Boshier said Sacred Heart College staff failed to adequately deal with the bullying, which took a toll on students' health.

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Stuff: Extra $7m for parenting services as Health Minister brands child poverty an "abomination"

Whakatane Hospital is set to be the location for a new Pregnancy and Parenting Service Hub, one of two new hubs to be launched with $7 million of Government funding.

Health Minister Dr David Clark made the announcement on Tuesday at a visit to the hospital, where he said he expected up to 100 families would benefit from the new service. 

In a wide ranging speech of mental health provision in New Zealand Clark said the coalition Government was reacting to what "New Zealand has demanded".

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Stuff: Sophie Elliott Foundation to close, Police to continue Lesley Elliott's work in preventing abuse

Poor health has forced Lesley Elliott to close the foundation she started as a legacy to her slain daughter, but its work will be continued.

The Sophie Elliott Foundation has been educating and empowering young people about abusive relationships for nearly a decade, but its founder said this week that health issues, which included the onset of Parkinson's disease, meant she would end the project.

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Newsroom: Wāhine Māori suicide rates rising

Why is there a growing number of Māori women dying by suicide? Laura Walters reports.

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Stuff: Children of prisoners need better support at school, teacher says

At any time, there might be one or more children in Charlotte Robertson's class with a parent in prison. 

About 23,000 Kiwi children have a parent behind bars, making that true in classrooms across the country.

But despite the impact parental incarceration can have on children's emotional wellbeing and academic achievement, teachers don't receive any formal training on how to support these children. 

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NZ Herald: 'Devastated': Radio personality Jay-Jay Feeney speaks out after taxi driver acquitted of sex assault

Radio personality Jay-Jay Feeney has spoken after the taxi driver accused of indecently assaulting her was found not guilty.

Baljeet Singh, 29, was acquitted by a jury today after a week-long trial in the Auckland District Court, where he faced one charge of indecent assault.

Singh was charged after Feeney accused him of attacking her when she was a passenger in his taxi in the early hours of October 1, 2017.

He denied the charge - maintaining he never touched Feeney inappropriately.

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RNZ: Ariah Roberts trial: Aaron Archer found not guilty of murder

The man accused of murdering a Mangawhai toddler has been acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Aaron Archer has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the past two weeks, accused of murdering his former girlfriend's two-year-old daughter Ariah Dawn Roberts.

This afternoon, after almost two days of deliberations, the jury returned a majority not guilty verdict to the charge of murder.

Instead, they delivered a majority guilty verdict to the alternative charge of manslaughter. He will be sentenced on 21 October.

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Category: News Media