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Weekly Media Roundup

September 24, 2021 at 3:13 PM

RNZ: Mental health 10-year plan to guide government decisions - Minister Little 

The government has announced a 10-year plan for improving mental health outcomes, and set up an external oversight group. 

National says what is needed now is action, not more vision statements, working groups and nice words. 

The plan, called Kia Manawanui, would set out short, medium and long-term actions to be taken by the government, Health Minister Andrew Little said as he announced the move this morning. 


Scoop: Stopping Violence Needs Men 

A lack of male counsellors and social workers in the family violence sector is hindering efforts to effect change. 

National Network of Family Violence Services Kaiarahi/CEO Merran Lawler believes male practitioners are essential. 

She is concerned about ongoing problems with their recruitment reported by specialist agency members. 


RNZ: Spit hoods used on 117 children, young people by police 

Figures obtained by RNZ have revealed New Zealand police used spit hoods on 117 children and young people between 2016 and 2020. 

Police used the hoods 129 times in total, with seven young people placed in them more than once. 

Almost 70 uses were on tamariki and rangatahi Māori, including a child aged just nine years old in 2018. 

Made up of two sections, spit hoods are a one-size-fits-all device designed to stop people biting and spitting at officers. 

Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft described them as a "Guantanamo Bay type invention" and said their use would be highly traumatising. 


RNZ: Complaining about a Family Court judge isn't safe - advocate 

A family violence advocate says it's unsafe for abuse survivors to complain about a judge's behaviour, as Family Court reveals reviews are being carried out. 

Two reviews of the Family Court are underway to ensure its judges are up to scratch and victims are happy with their court experience, the Principal Family Court Judge says. 

It comes as a family violence advocate says it is currently unsafe for abuse survivors navigating the Family Court to lay complaints about a judge's behaviour. 

Victims who did were often further penalised by the judge and the inability to hold them to account for this behaviour created dangerous situations, especially for women and children survivors of abuse, Backbone Collective co-founder Deborah Mackenzie said. 


Stuff: Face mask exemptions ignored in their hundreds due to 'lack of awareness' 

A sexual assault victim and a man who gets bleeding noses from wearing a mask are among hundreds of complaints each day due to mask exemptions not being recognised. 

Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) chief executive Prudence Walker said the problem ranged from a misunderstanding about rules to, at the extreme end, people getting banned from shops for two years, refused entry, or having police called on them. She had heard multiple tales of the two-year bans. 

The organisation, which distributes face mask exemption cards, received “hundreds of emails a day” from people who had bad experiences. 

“There’s a lack of awareness that not everyone can wear a mask and that is okay and is spelled out in the public health order,” Walker said. 


Stuff: NZ, Canada join forces in fight against online child sexual abuse material 

A web-crawling software will be used in New Zealand with the aim of detecting and removing child sex abuse material. 

The New Zealand Classification Office has joined a one-year pilot in collaboration with Canada’s Project Arachnid, which searches for and identifies child sex abuse material online. 

Chief Censor David Shanks said the worldwide scope of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection's project meant New Zealanders could benefit from increased data and reporting on the material while contributing to a leading global initiative. 


Stuff: As her partner beat his son to death, Leza Rawiri 'did nothing' 

When William James Sio beat his 5-year-old son to death in an emergency housing placement in Rotorua, the culmination of seven hours of “discipline” he inflicted on the child, his partner Leza Rawiri was in the same room. 

Details of the role Rawiri played in Ferro-James Sio’s death on February 8, 2020, and the abuse she committed, can now be revealed after Stuff obtained the police summary of facts in the case. 

Stuff: 'Haunted till my last breath': Mum faces daughter’s abuser in court 

The mother of a 5-year-old girl says she will be “haunted till my last breath” knowing that photographs of her daughter being sexually abused are circulating on the internet. 

The woman’s ex-partner, who is not the girl’s father, was jailed for ten years in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday. 

Judge Tom Gilbert granted him permanent name suppression to protect his two victims. 

The 36-year-old was caught last year when the Department of Internal Affairs referred an investigation about child exploitation to the police. They raided the man’s house and seized his digital devices. 


Stuff: Man who dragged his partner up and down the stairs was under stress, court hears 

A man who dragged his partner up and down a flight of stairs by her arm told police he was “taking a stand” after she told him she wanted to leave. 

David Charles Macdonald, 56, pleaded guilty in the Nelson District Court to a charge of assault on Monday. 


Stuff: Laptop with thousands of child exploitation images found on rubbish dump 

Thousands of child exploitation images, including images of children as young as two being raped and tortured, were found on a laptop computer discarded at an apartment rubbish dump. 

The computer was found by a member of the public at a central Christchurch address, who briefly checked it and saw what appeared to be images of naked underage boys. 

When police did a full forensic examination, they found 3266 files, including dozens that were in the worst category of exploitation images. 

Police determined the laptop belonged to Jasper James Gallacher Force, 30, who lived at the apartment complex where it was dumped. 


Stuff: Sex offender to serve home detention for grooming girl to perform lewd act 

A young girl groomed by a man to regularly urinate on him didn’t know his actions were wrong until she learned at school about inappropriate behaviour. 

The man, Anthony Paul Batchelor, 67, was in the Palmerston North District Court on Monday sentenced to 10 months’ home detention after admitting three charges of indecency and one of sexual conduct with a girl under 12. 

Many details of the offending cannot be reported because of automatic suppressions protecting the victim’s identity. 

Category: News Media