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Weekly Media Roundup

October 23, 2020 at 2:57 PM

Stuff: Oranga Tamariki: How far has it come and where does it need to go from here?

Ahead of the 2017 General Election, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and then-National leader Bill English argued about whose party would do more to improve child welfare. This time around, we’ve heard much less from the two party leaders (National is now led by Judith Collins) about the country’s most vulnerable.

Despite fiery commentary throughout the year in response to babies being uplifted, there’s been little public reflection on the first full term of the country’s new state care agency.



Newsroom: We need to talk about men

This election our politicians are ignoring women's issues so let's talk more about men - because to change women's lives we need to change how we think about men, writes Jess Berentson-Shaw

Read more…


NZ Herald: Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry: Survivors to hear Crown held to account

A man who was sexually abused in state care will this week get to hear the Crown officials he has spent more than two decades fighting with for redress held to account.

Earl White, not his real name, shared his violent and abusive childhood as part of the ongoing Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry, investigating abuse in state and faith-based care between 1950 and 1999.

Nearly 2000 people, including 1400 survivors, have registered so far to share their stories with the commission, and nearly 600 have held private one-on-one sessions.

Over the next two weeks from Monday, witnesses for the Crown, including the Solicitor-General on behalf of the Crown Law Office, will describe their processes for resolving these historic and current abuse claims, which some survivors have said was "as bad as the abuse itself".



Newsroom: Abuse in state care: Taking on the Crown

Aaron Smale describes the challenge of reporting on the Crown’s abuse of power and lack of transparency

Read more…


Stuff: Royal Commission apologises to entire survivor database for leak

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has apologised to its entire survivor database in an effort to rebuild trust after leaking the personal information of a rape survivor.

On Thursday Stuff reported that the Commission charged with shining a spotlight on historic abuse in care had mistakenly sent a rape survivor’s name, address, phone number and psychiatric condition to another survivor.

The document also contained the name of the man who raped the survivor and details of the attack.



NZ Herald: Abuse in Care: Ministry of Social Development spent $80m on claims, with $30m going to survivors

The Ministry of Social Development has spent $80m resolving claims of abuse in its care since 2007, with 60 per cent of that covering legal fees and operational costs.

The rest, just under 40 per cent, has gone to survivors, covering allegations of "sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect" in state care.

Evidence presented to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission Inquiry redress hearing showed in 12 years to June 2019, MSD had spent about $77m resolving about 1800 historic claims.

This included about $30m paid to claimants as settlements, and $5.6m in legal aid fees.

But the lion's share, about $40m, covered operational costs and external legal fees, including to payments to Crown Law.



RNZ: Opponents at state abuse inquiry share some common ground

Analysis - It sometimes happens that individuals on different sides of a contentious public matter are not as strikingly different in terms of background and sincerity as their respective positions might initially suggest - even in something as heavily charged as the Abuse in Care Royal Commission, David Cohen writes.

In the second phase of the inquiry's redress hearing, which runs out of Auckland for a fortnight until 3 November, witnesses for the Crown will give evidence and look to rebut - or at any rate, mitigate - some of the accusations made during the first round of testimonies the other week against aspects of their work.

At particular issue will be the ongoing role of the Historical Claims Unit, a semi-independent agency established on the watch of former Prime Minister Helen Clark that operates within the Ministry of Social Development. The unit considers questions of compensation relating to people who experienced harm in the old state-run residences.



Stuff: Huge jump in number of homeless young people needing help nationwide

They’re too old to be kids, too young to have the resources older people have. And hundreds more young people aged 16-24 have found themselves needing emergency housing lately.

Housing shortages and rising rents have collided with the Covid-19 pandemic to send demand for urgent accommodation soaring.

Now the Children’s Commissioner ​and an Auckland community trust​ say the issue needs urgent attention.



Stuff: Money must not be a barrier to accessing help with violence

OPINION: The statistics for family violence in New Zealand are shocking and shameful; among the highest in the world. So what can be done?

In my opinion, part of the answer is in offering people more opportunities for change by providing fully funded living without violence programmes for all who need them.

We can compare family violence to another significant and social/health issue: alcohol and drug abuse, for which free treatment is available throughout New Zealand.



Stuff: No known mental health concerns before one in three student suicides


Every year about 580 people are lost to suicide in New Zealand, many of them students. A Stuff examination of 270 coroners’ reports of student suicides from 2007 to 2019 found that one in three had no known mental health concerns. How can vulnerable students be helped in time when there are no red flags? Sam Sherwood and Mariné Lourens investigate.



NZ Herald: Text messages result in convictions quashed for Christchurch man found guilty of raping teenage girl

A Christchurch man who was jailed for tying, blindfolding, and raping a 13-year-old girl has had his convictions quashed.

In 2015 Ian Edward Hitchcock was found guilty of rape and unlawful sexual connection, among other charges, and sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.

The court heard the then-26-year-old supplied the girl with cannabis and alcohol, making her intoxicated before tying her arms and legs, gagging and blindfolding her and then raping her.



NZ Herald: Police investigating after at least 60 sexual assault allegations made against Wellington musicians

Police are investigating after at least 60 people made claims on social media about being sexually assaulted by a group of Wellington musicians, with several people coming forward with complaints.

Claims include people being drugged, raped, harassed, and otherwise abused by the group over the years.



Stuff: Woman speaks out amid sexual assault allegations against musicians

A complainant has spoken for the first time amid a series of allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape and drugging by a group of Wellington musicians.

The 20-year-old woman is calling for others who may have similar experiences to come forward and speak to police, as their “little puzzle piece” may help form “the bigger part of the puzzle”.

It comes after multiple allegations were made public on social media earlier this week about a group of Wellington musicians, which included sexual assault, sexual harassment, drugging and rape.

An unnamed woman said at least 60 people, both men and women, messaged her with claims of similar allegations involving the same group, which she then re-posted anonymously online.



RNZ: Identifying why people assault is key to safer cities - Wellington charity

A rape survivor advocate says no particular scene or culture has issues with assault, it is a countrywide problem.

New data shows assaults are 10 times more likely to occur in central Wellington than the rest of New Zealand.

Over lockdown, the number of assaults dropped around Cuba St and Courtney Place but they are back on the rise.

Wellington Rape Crisis general manager Kyla Rayner said there were a number of factors that led to central Wellington facing this particular problem.



Stuff: Club offers to pay to train other venues' staff to spot sexual violence

A Wellington club is offering to foot the bill to train hospitality staff to spot and intervene in harmful sexual behaviour in their venues, following allegations made about a group of local musicians.

Alleged victims have made multiple allegation about the group on social media, including accusing them of sexual assault, sexual harassment, drugging and rape. Police have received several complaints independently and opened an investigation.

Some bars around the city have banned the musicians at the centre of the allegations.

Co-owner of Club 121 – a house and techno club on Cambridge Terrace – Tim Ward told Stuff his staff were already planning to take RespectED Aotearoa training, but he now wanted to open it to staff working across city’s bars and clubs.



NZ Herald: Netsafe Global Kids Online report: Quarter of New Zealand kids upset by online experiences

A quarter of New Zealand children were upset by an online experience in the last year while 36 per cent were exposed to violent or gory images and a fifth to self-harm methods, a survey has found.

Netsafe's third Global Kids Online report, released today examined children's experiences on the internet and parents' perceptions of what they were exposed to.

The survey of more than 2000 children aged 9-17 and their parents found a mismatch between children's upsetting experiences online and their parents' awareness of it.



Newshub: 'He said he had to come clean': Huntly woman 'mortified' to learn husband of 10 years murdered his first wife

When New Zealand woman Sandra* first met Alistair Federick Rehutai at the Huntly RSA in 2009, she was taken by his charm and drawn into his kindness. 

The pair were married the next year, starting their life together by selling her $300,000 home and moving to Waihi to start a business. 

Now she's been forced to start over again in a new place with a new identity after learning ten years into their marriage Rehutai is a convicted murderer on lifetime parole for killing his first wife. 



NZ Herald: Man found guilty on serious physical and sexual violence charges after High Court trial

The man who was on trial in the High Court this week over serious physical and sexual violence charges has been found guilty on all eight charges.

The man - who has name suppression - had denied the charges; two of sexual violation, three of assault, two of assault with a weapon and one of threatens to kill.

Justice Timothy Brewer delivered the verdicts at the High Court in Auckland this morning.

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney told the court during a short relationship the complainant was continuously manipulated and abused by the defendant.



Stuff: Man, woman plead not guilty to family violence offences against children

A 33-year-old man and 57-year-old woman have denied multiple family violence offences, allegedly committed against children over more than four years.

The man and woman both face two counts of assaulting a child with a weapon, while the man has also been charged with wounding with intent to injure and the woman with ill-treating or neglecting a child under 18.


Category: News Media