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Weekly Media Roundup

May 06, 2022 at 4:22 PM

Stuff: The boy who could name every dinosaur: ‘We tried to save him,’ family says 

WARNING: This story contains details of child abuse which readers may find distressing. 

The boy who could name every dinosaur took his last breath in his uncle’s arms. 

During the last week of Malachi Subecz’s life in Auckland’s Starship Hospital, his family, including his mother who was brought to hospital by prison guards, took turns embracing him. They stroked Malachi’s skin, spoke to him in soothing voices, and told him everything was okay, he could go now. 

Watching the light in Malachi go out in front of their eyes torments the Wellington-based extended family, who say they tried to save him. 

Malachi was murdered by his caregiver, Michaela Barriball, and died in hospital on November 12, 2021. He had been living in a cabin at the back of a Te Puna property, hundreds of kilometres north of the capital. 


Stuff: Children's Minister Kelvin Davis wants answers from Oranga Tamariki over murdered 5-year-old 


Stuff: Inside the home where 5-year-old Malachi Subecz was abused to death 


Stuff: Pics of abuse suffered by Malachi Subecz didn't reach police until after his murder 


1 News: Child offending is a 'solvable, manageable problem' - expert 

Child offending is a "solvable, manageable" problem, a clinical psychologist says in the face of a recent spike in child and youth crime. 

Most of the children and youths involved in the spate of ram-raids and robberies nationwide are known to Oranga Tamariki, the organisation has said. 

"It's really important to highlight the fact that actually those children who do this are also victims themselves," Professor Ian Lambie told Q+A's Jack Tame. He reckoned about 200 children were involved in child and youth crime. 


Newshub: Police, Oranga Tamariki trialling 'whānau-focused' approach to address spike in ram-raid robberies in Auckland 

Police, Oranga Tamariki trialling 'whānau-focused' approach to address spike in ram-raid robberies in Auckland. 

Police, Oranga Tamariki and community providers in Auckland are trialling a "whānau-focused' approach to address a youth crime wave gripping the city.  

It comes amid a spike in ram-raid robberies with the majority of those involved being under 17 years old.  

Senior Sergeant Craig Clark said the planning for the trial has been underway for the past month.  

Clark said the trial is based on an existing model involving a cross-agency response to family harm in Counties Manukau. 


Stuff: Is youth crime really a growing problem and what can be done about it? 

Youth crime has dominated national headlines this week, with stories of ramraids and break-ins peppered across the media. Stuff speaks to Oranga Tamariki and people working at the flax-roots level about what is going on and possible solutions. 


NZ Herald: Children's Commissioner calls on Government to intervene over spate of crime 

The Children's Commissioner has called on the Government to step in after a spate of crimes allegedly committed by children as young as 7 over the school holidays. 

"It needs to happen now because these young ones, I'm sure they're hurting inside," Judge Frances Eivers told the Herald on Sunday. 

"They're just babies, they're just young kids." 

At least 45 children or teenagers have allegedly been behind eight crimes such as break-ins and ram raids reported over the school holidays. 


RNZ: Most youth in ram raids not in schools - Oranga Tamariki 

Almost all the children involved in ram raids in recent weeks are not in school, Oranga Tamariki says. 

Smash and grabs using a car have appeared to be on the rise, with police saying they are often carried out by young people looking for thrills or content for TikTok. 

On Thursday police revealed four children - including a seven-year-old - had been caught after breaking into a mall in Hamilton at 1am. 

They did not use a car to get in - and were found with toys and other items. 


NZ Herald: Tracey Edmonds: Let's all help rape survivors to initiate systemic change 

OPINION: An Auckland teenager who raped and sexually violated multiple girls avoided jail at his sentencing this week and was ordered to serve 12 months' home detention and 12 months' supervision. One of the victim's mothers, Tracey Edmonds, responds to social media criticism of the sentence and argues what needs to change to stop violent anti-social behaviour from flourishing in the shadows. 


Stuff: Suicide leading cause of death during pregnancy for wāhine Māori 

newly released report by the Helen Clark Foundation Mahi a Rongo reveals suicide as the leading cause of death during pregnancy in Aotearoa. 

The report, Āhurutia Te Rito | It takes a village, identifies the stress factors contributing to poor mental health among new and expectant parents in Aotearoa, and how public policy can be used to alleviate these stressors and support parents. 


Stuff: How New Zealand pushes so many new mothers to the brink 


NZ Herald: Maternal suicide: Leading cause of deaths of pregnant women, new mothers, report reveals 


The Spinoff: Every New Zealander should know the Sutherlands 

There are some whose work has changed Aotearoa. Such is the case for Ivan and Oliver Sutherland, argues Jules Older. 


NZ Herald: The Conversation: The transition into adolescence can be brutal for kids' mental health – but parents can help reduce the risk 

The transition from childhood to adolescence is a vulnerable time for the development of mental health difficulties and brings a marked increase in anxiety and depression. 

The push away from family to peers at this age can leave parents feeling adrift. But parents can have a positive role in how young people navigate the challenges of adolescence. 

Untreated, mental health conditions often have an impact into adulthood. Supporting a young person with a mental health difficulty also places enormous stress on parents and whānau (family). 

So how can parents be there for their children? 


Stuff: The really scary thing about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard court case 

OPINION: Although we’re loathe to admit it, the world loves a good Hollywood scrap - and the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard case currently crawling its mucky way through a Virginia courtroom is the scrappiest of all. 

And it's only half-way through. The jury has not yet had a chance to hear from Heard, who takes the stand this week. That hasn’t troubled the internet, which by all accounts has already made up its mind - Depp, the longtime Hollywood hero, is the victim here; wrongly accused by an unstable and violent ex-wife. 

After a week of testimony from Depp, women around the world are right to be afraid of what that might mean. 


Stuff: Protection policy rolled out for children involved in local theatre 

A protection policy to help prevent and deal with cases of child abuse within local theatre societies, groups and companies in Aotearoa has been rolled out. 

The child protection and duty of care policy was developed by Musical Theatre New Zealand – the national body for musical theatre community groups – alongside Child Matters, a registered charity and educational service with a focus on prevention of child abuse. 

Unlike many other countries, child protection training is not mandatory for those who work with children in Aotearoa. 


Stuff: When parents turn children into weapons, everybody loses 

ANALYSIS: Domestic abuse can involve one parent using a child as a weapon against the other parent, which harms the child in immense ways. My research has identified how these dynamics play out and examines the damage. 

There are approximately 5.7 million cases of domestic abuse in the US each year, and in some of those, mothers and fathers use children to manipulate and harm the other parent. This behaviour can include directly pressuring the child to spy on the abused parent or threatening the abused parent that they will never see the child again if they leave the relationship. 


NZ Herald: Former Arise church member 'shunned' after her baby was assaulted by her then partner 

A former Arise member says she was "shunned" by the church and members were advised not to contact her after her baby was assaulted by her former partner. 

While the former partner was sent to prison for causing serious injuries to the baby, she alleges she was cut off, deleted from their life group chat and told not to come to the church. 

"I was left pretty much alone at a time in my life where I needed support the most. 

"I was informed a few months later by a screenshot from a friend that they had told my life group to not contact me, that I knew about this, and that I was being supported by the pastors." 


NZ Herald: Ten guilty verdicts on allegations of CYFS caregiver's sex abuse 

A CYFS-approved caregiver convicted of 10 child sex abuse charges can now be identified as Frank Russell Walmsley, who is already serving a jail term for similar offending. 

He was jailed for 22 years in 2016 after a trial in the High Court at Timaru for offending against children in his care. 

He was still serving that sentence when he went on trial in the High Court at Christchurch last week on 10 more charges of rape, sexual violation, and indecency with a 14-year-old girl who was in his care at a CYFS family home in Oamaru in 1995. 

NZ Herald: Man on trial on 30 charges alleging child sexual abuse of seven relatives 

Warning: Details in this article may be upsetting for some readers. 

What was meant to be a fun weekend dip with her uncle in her rural school's swimming pool turned into a rape vividly recalled 40 years later, a former Northland woman told police. 

She is one of seven females related to the man to allege childhood sexual abuse by him in Northland and elsewhere. They are scheduled to give evidence in a jury trial that began in Whangarei District Court yesterday and will run into next week. 

The man, in his 50s, cannot be named due to automatic suppression of the complainant's identities. 


Stuff: Man who downloaded videos of babies being raped sentenced to community work 

A man who downloaded videos of men raping young children has been sentenced to supervision and community work. 

Some of the children were less than 1 year old. 

Miguel Gonzalez, 32, is one of 43 New Zealanders caught up in the Department of Internal Affair’s global investigation, codenamed Operation H. 

Court documents released to Stuff show Gonzalez accessed downloaded images using an electronic service provider. He clicked on a folder marked “baby”. 


NZ Herald: Man admits threatening and raping teenage girl 

A 36-year-old man has admitted repeated rapes of a teenage girl after telling her he had a gun and threatening to kill her family. 

Kevin Richard Nelson eventually got the girl pregnant and she had an abortion. 


Stuff: Full range of verdicts for man who sexually assaulted woman in her home 

A jury has returned the full range of verdicts after the trial of a man who a lawyer says took advantage of a woman’s kindness by sexually assaulting her. 

Mohammed Abdiwali was found guilty in the Palmerston North District Court on Friday of sexually violating the woman in her kitchen in December 2020 after she got him a glass of water. 

Category: News Media