Weekly Media Roundup

December 11, 2020 at 2:50 PM

Newsroom: The pandemic we’re not conquering

New Zealand has risen to the challenge of Covid-19 and it has paid off. But what about the pandemic we're not conquering? Family violence expert Dr Natalie Thorburn asks us to take seriously the number of women murdered by male partners in this country.

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Stuff: Our Truth, Tā Mātou Pono: Stuff's apology welcome but overdue - Assistant Māori Children’s Commissioner

New Zealand’s first Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children, Glenis Philip-Barbara, cried when she learned of Stuff's apology for racist and one-sided coverage of Māori.

Philip-Barbara told 1 News’ Breakfast programme she “absolutely bawled”. She said the tears were brought on by relief that long-running institutional bias in a media organisation was being acknowledged, but also a fear of backlash from Pākeha oblivious to racism in New Zealand.

The commissioner explained that it was beyond her wildest dreams that a major news outlet would acknowledge being part of perpetuating negative views of Māori.

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Stuff: 'Crate Day' increases family violence callouts by nearly 30 per cent

A day encouraging drinkers to mark the first weekend of summer with crates of beer has been labelled “dangerous and irresponsible” for contributing to a spike in family violence.

Crate Day was launched by The Rock radio station in 2009 as a publicity stunt. It has since been embraced by the liquor industry, with many suppliers creating crates of ready-to-drink premixed alcohol in addition to beer.

Police data shows family harm incidents on previous Crate Day weekends were 20 to 30 per cent higher compared to other first weekends of the month throughout the year.

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Stuff: Another crate day, another nightmare for New Zealand's emergency departments

Facial fractures, concussion, broken bones, lacerations, assault-related injuries, verbal abuse, and alcohol poisoning – all are expected to rocket at emergency departments (ED) around the country as another crate day rolls around.

The event was launched by The Rock radio station in 2009 as a publicity stunt encouraging people to mark the first Saturday of summer by buying a crate of beer.

Christchurch Hospital ED doctor Scott Pearson said the number of alcohol-related injuries seen in ED doubled on crate day compared with an average weekend in December.

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RNZ: Tolerating child poverty as part of an economic strategy

Child poverty.

You read about it so often, maybe you get a little desensitised to what those words mean.

Then a new report or analysis comes out, someone slaps a sensational headline on it, you read through the article and discover how bad things actually are.

Or are they?

Last week, the latest Child Poverty Monitor report revealed 235,000 children – about one in five kids – live in poverty.

In some senses, including those raw numbers, the statistic is shocking.

But it also represents progress.

Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft says the numbers are tracking in the right direction – particularly when it comes to the overall level of incomes.

But in other senses, little progress is being made.

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RNZ: Catholic Church has 'no understanding about trauma and sexual abuse' - victim

Warning - This story contains discussion of sexual violence

Witnesses at the Abuse in Care Royal Commission have recounted gruelling memories of being abused while in the care of churches.

During the week and next week, the Commission is hearing from 25 survivors.

The witnesses have agreed to go public with their stories of abuse and how they sought redress from churches.

The focus during the week has been on the Catholic Church. Next week it is the turn of the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army.

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NZ Herald: Abuse in Care: Babies 'abducted' from young, solo mothers by Anglican Church service

A young mother was forced to give birth to her baby boy while on her side, so she would never see his face.

Only days later, still having never seen him, desperately wanting to be his mother, she was forced to sign paperwork, giving him up for adoption.

This was the experience of Mrs D, whose identity is protected, in 1969 at the Anglican Saint Mary's Home for Unwed Mothers in Auckland, as told to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Saint Mary's was a place that today might sound like something out of The Handmaid's Tale - only it was real.

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RNZ: Survivors tell of 'excessive punishment' at Salvation Army children's home

The Salvation Army has made an unreserved apology to people who suffered from abuse as children while in its care.

It made the statement to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Survivors of abuse by the Salvation Army on Thursday started giving evidence to the inquiry.

Before the survivors began to tell their stories, the Salvation Army made the statement.

Salvation Army lawyer Jenny Stevens said the abuse was terrible and unforgivable.

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Newsroom: The hierarchies in NZ’s domestic violence problem

The University of Auckland's Dr Debbie Hager examines the role of power and hierarchies within New Zealand's domestic violence problem

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Stuff: The 'safe person' who killed a baby

A caregiver convicted of the manslaughter of a 10-month-old twin was deemed a “safe person” by a social worker, despite them being aware of an indecent assault conviction and the previous uplift of his own three children.

Shane Claude Roberts, 61, was found guilty last week of the manslaughter of Karlos Stephens, after a second High Court murder trial.

Over the course of the nine-day trial the jury heard that the twins were left in the care of Roberts’ by their mother Pamela Stephens, who had met him just a few weeks earlier.

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Stuff: Oranga Tamariki caregiver jailed for sexual offending

A young girl who was sexually abused by her Oranga Tamariki caregiver detailed how traumatising it was to be placed back in the man’s care after reporting his initial offending to police.

The now-22-year-old woman’s victim impact statement was read out to the New Plymouth District Court on Friday by Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich.

“It is really hard to put into words how much of an effect this can have on a person, particularly when they are young and are expecting adults to look after them,” her statement said.

“It’s not something that is just going to go from me and I’m going to live happily ever after – it will be in my life forever.”

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Stuff: Man ordered to leave NZ after allegedly raping girlfriend during Covid-19 lockdown

A Filipino man has lost his appeal against deportation after he allegedly sexually assaulted his partner and threatened to kill their landlady.

The 35-year-old has been in New Zealand since 2018 on an essential skills visa and works as a truck driver for a logging company.

He was issued with a deportation liability notice in June after his girlfriend made “numerous assault complaints” to police “including a rape complaint.”

The complaints stemmed from incidents alleged to have occurred in April, when New Zealand was under the alert level 4 Covid-19 lockdown.

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NZ Herald: Dunedin man smashed ex-partner's leg in horrific beating

Warning: Distressing content

During a relentless 15-minute attack on his ex-partner, a Dunedin man ripped out a clump of her hair, kicked her in the face with steel-capped boots and broke her leg, a court has heard.

Once Troi Ashby had caused the bulk of the damage and realised the police had been called, he told his defenceless victim: "I'm going to jail. I might as well do a good job."

And the punches continued to rain down.

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Newshub: Brent Ruddell sentencing: Family of Kerikeri paedophile's victims lash out in court, judge becomes visibly emotional

Warning: This article discusses child sex crimes.

A High Court Judge was visibly emotional as he sentenced a serial paedophile to 15 years in jail on Wednesday.

Brent Ruddell took advantage of solo mums to prey on their children - crimes one police officer described as the worst he'd seen.

He entered the court with a freshly shaved head, but as he tried to hide his face and his tears, Brent Ruddell's security guard told him to face his victims.

"You have to look up and face these women," he could be heard telling the child sex offender.

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Category: News Media