Weekly Media Roundup

November 27, 2020 at 3:57 PM

Newsroom: ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’

The sad tale of four young children placed 'forever' in the care of two foster parents, but after a change of policy at Oranga Tamariki finding themselves taken from their home again into a new and unknown world. Melanie Reid and Bonnie Sumner report.

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Newsroom: The collateral damage of ideologically-driven uplifts

Opinion: University of Otago associate professor of social and community work, Dr Nicola Atwool, is one of the country’s top experts in attachment trauma. She explains the dangers of ideologically-driven uplifts.

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Newsroom: Inquiry: Turn child protection over to Māori

The latest official inquiry into the removal of babies by Oranga Tamariki calls directly for power and resources to be given to Māori to provide care and protection for their children

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Newshub: Kiwi boy calls on Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to help end family violence

A 5-year-old Christchurch boy aiming to raise awareness about domestic violence is calling on a global superstar for help.

Angelou Brown has taken over telling his nana's story, whose experience of domestic violence sparked an anti-abuse movement, now that she only has months left to live.

Angelou has sent an open letter to a man considered a hero in his family - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - to raise awareness about the family's cause.

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The Spinoff: Frame: The life-changing work of Whaea Michelle

Michelle Kidd defines her role at Auckland’s specialist family violence court as te kaiwhakatere – the navigator. It’s a one-of-a-kind job, helping guide defendants through the court system. And there’s no one better suited to it than Whaea Michelle.

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Lockdowns bring more attacks on women

Women around the world have marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, highlighting how lockdowns due to the pandemic had left many trapped with their abusers and exposed to greater danger.

The United Nations said that since the outbreak of Covid-19, all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, had intensified, with shelters at capacity and helplines in some places seeing a five-fold rise in calls.

"Men's violence against women is also a pandemic – one that pre-dates the virus and will outlive it. It too needs our global, coordinated response and enforceable protocols. It too affects vast populations of all ages," said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in a statement on Wednesday.

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1 News: New discreet service to help domestic violence victims launched

Domestic violence advocacy service Shine has today launched a new service which can help victims of domestic violence get help in a discreet way.

The service's website, 2shine.co.nz, will from today feature an online chat service which will be answered by an experienced family violence worker.

The service will be available from 9am to 11pm every day.

Shine policy adviser Holly Carrington said the Covid-19 lockdowns had highlighted the restricted and often fearful conditions of living with an abusive partner.

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Newshub: The Shielded Site: The helpful resource for domestic violence victims you may not know about

Kiwis who frequently shop online may have noticed a green-and-white computer icon at the bottom of websites for major local brands - think The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Countdown - and fleetingly wondered what it symbolises. 

The symbol opens a secure, non-traceable pop-up portal that allows the user to access crucial resources if they are at risk of family violence - without leaving evidence on their browser history.

The Women's Refuge Shielded Site Project - locatable via a half-green, half-white icon of a computer screen - is not a new phenomenon. However, a recent Facebook post in a women's community group outlining the function of the button attracted surprise from users, with many unaware of its purpose.

The Shielded Site Project provides access to helpful advice for people in danger of family violence, presenting six options: In Danger, Getting Help, Getting Out, Making a Plan, Online Safety and Need Answers.

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NZ Herald: Pet Refuge: Appeal launched as family violence, including harm against pets, increases ahead of Christmas

Police are bracing themselves for a big spike in domestic violence — including threats to harm family pets — as the festive season draws nearer.

Every Christmas family violence escalates and this year is no different with police already starting to notice an increase in the number of cases coming in on a daily basis.

Many of them involve a violent partner abusing, or threatening to harm, pets as a way of controlling their partner or preventing them from leaving the relationship.

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1 News: 'We’ve got to see the whole ecosystem' - New Police Minister wants holistic view in tackling family violence

Labour’s Poto Williams says she’ll be bringing her experience working to tackle domestic and sexual violence in her new role as Police Minister.

Two weeks after being appointed to the post, the Christchurch East MP told 1 NEWS she wanted to tackle the issue by looking at the “whole ecosystem” of factors that could contribute to domestic and sexual violence. 

“We can’t just talk about what happens for victims. We’ve got to see the whole ecosystem and we’ve got to look at not only men and women, but also children who experience violence as well,” Williams said.

“All this trauma that people hold, unless we resolve it, we’re only going to continue to perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

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RNZ: NZ's Cook Island minister represents firsts

Munokoa Poto Williams represents a lot of firsts in New Zealand politics.

One of the first Cook Islands woman in parliament, Williams is also the first Pasifika MP to be elected from the South Island.

She held onto the Christchurch East seat at last month's general election winning by over 14,000 votes against her nearest rival.

Born in 1962, Williams has been an MP since 2013.

But her big break came via Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's reshuffle last year when she was made Community and Voluntary Sector Minister and Associate Minister for Christchurch regeneration.

This month she climbed even higher, handed the tough job of Minister of Police - the first person of Pacific descent to hold the position.

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Stuff: New Police Minister wants more diversity but treads softly around race

Expectations are high for the country’s first female Pasifika Police Minister Poto Williams to address acknowledged unconscious bias within the police service.

Williams’ predecessor Stuart Nash said there wasn’t systemic racism in the police, a view contradicted by the then Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.

During the Black Lives Matter protests Coster acknowledged poor outcomes for Māori in particular, saying, “We need to make sure that we’re not part of the problem, and we’re part of the solution.”

Asked for her view on the topic, Williams made it clear she was treading carefully but agreed there was scope for improvement.

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Stuff: Device addiction leading to increase in youth violence against parents

Addiction to electronic devices appears to be fuelling an increase in serious violence caused by young people within the family home.

Triggered by disputes over devices, when parents put their foot down to limit access to the internet the reaction can be extreme – leading to property damage, serious assaults and threats to kill.

Nelson lawyer John Sandston, who was formerly the New Zealand Law Society’s inaugural youth justice spokesperson and has been a youth advocate for 25 years, said the trend seemed to have “come out of nowhere”.

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1 News: 'More than a crisis' - Emergency housing group calls for urgent action from Government as demand soars

When the Labour Party was in Opposition, it said clearly and often that what's happening with housing in our country is "a crisis", and few people wouldn't agree they were right. But heading into its second term, an emergency housing group says nothing's changed under the Government.

Monte Cecilia Trust's Bernie Smith says the Government promised "transformational change", but that hasn't happened.

Instead, the housing crisis has worsened.

"At the moment we're getting 20 to 30 calls per day. A year ago, it was 10 to 15 calls per week," he told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"A year ago, we would have probably five or 10 families waiting for a housing solution. Today I can tell you we've got 400 families."

Smith says New Zealand needs a Government "that recognises this is more than a crisis".

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1 News: People warned against 'naming and shaming' online as police investigate sexual assaults

Activists are calling out the country's justice system for not properly dealing with sexual assault allegations, leading to the rise of naming and shaming on social media.

But police and legal experts are warning that such behaviour can harm the wrongly accused and derail potential justice in the long run.

"We ask people to refrain from using social media to name individuals or post any personal details of people suspected of being involved as this could incorrectly and unfairly target the wrong people and also have a negative impact on the police investigation," Wellington Police Detective Inspector John Van Den Heuvel said.

The warning was prompted after some people were wrongly accused when allegations against three Wellington musicians swept social media.

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Newshub: Online harm skyrocketed during lockdown - survey

The COVID-19 lockdown caused online harm to increase, a new survey by Netsafe shows.

Unwanted digital communications - such as encouraging people to hurt themselves, or sharing intimate images without permission - grew dramatically during this period.

For the survey, Netsafe asked 1150 participants their experiences of 'unwanted digital communication' in the last 12 months, just before, during, and after lockdown.

Out of those who reported experiencing unwanted digital communications in the past 12 months, 41 percent said it occurred during or after the lockdown period.

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Stuff: Great-grandfather of murdered toddler says police 111 call errors not to blame in tot's death

The great-grandfather of murdered toddler Nevaeh Ager says 111 emergency call errors are not to blame for the two-year-old’s death.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority released its findings in relation to the handling of the call reporting concerns about a child’s welfare on Tuesday.

Nevaeh’s great-grandmother called 111 on March 20, 2019, with concerns about her granddaughter’s partner, Aaron Izett, and the wellbeing of her great-grandchild in his care.

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NZ Herald: Shane Claude Roberts guilty of manslaughter of Rotorua baby Karlos Stephens

A jury has found Shane Claude Roberts not guilty of murdering Rotorua 10-month-old Karlos Stephens but guilty of manslaughter.

The jury returned the 11-1 verdict after 10 hours of deliberation.

He has been remanded in custody for sentencing on February 12.

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Stuff: Oranga Tamariki youth worker caught having sex with 16-year-old girl in his care

An investigation involving Oranga Tamariki and police was launched after a residential youth worker was caught having sex with a 16-year-old girl living at the at-risk facility where he worked.

Lower Hutt man Fred Pule resigned by email, shortly after the employment investigation began, and moved to Australia.

Police were called in October 2019 after it was discovered the teenager was missing from Epuni Care and Protection Residence in Lower Hutt.

The facility cares for young people aged 10-17 years who are severely at risk, with varied and complex needs.

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Newshub: Harness racing star gets three months' community detention for assaulting and strangling woman

A harness racing star has been sentenced to three months' community detention and a year of intensive supervision for assaulting and strangling a woman.

Matthew Anderson was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday after being found guilty in July.

Before Judge Stephen O'Driscoll handed down the sentence, Anderson's lawyer Alastair Davis told the court he had an appalling upbringing and is remorseful and embarrassed.

"He has come a very long way under his own steam after a bad start in life," Davis said.

"It is unlikely you will see him before the court again. 

"His actions were despicable - he understands this."

But the police contended Anderson had a lack of genuine remorse, saying the victim was strangled twice, put in a chokehold, kicked in the head, and thrown into doors.

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Category: News Media