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Weekly Media Roundup

May 13, 2022 at 4:39 PM

RNZ: Family violence prevention strategy gets $114.5m in Budget 

The government's family and sexual violence elimination strategy will be bolstered by $114.5 million in this year's Budget. 

The funding, the first to be budgeted since the strategy was announced, will be split across five areas: 

  • $38.1m for the Integrated Community Response approach 

  • $37.6m for six primary prevention initiatives for different groups: Māori, Pacific, ethnic communities, older people, and youth 

  • $26.7m for skills and capacity support in several initiatives, including $9.8m for victim support services 

  • $8.1m for health system responses including specialists and strangulation supports 

  • $4m to build on Māori-Crown partnership arrangements to support communities' monitoring, sharing and learning 

Announcing the move this morning, Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson said the investment in the 2021 Te Aorerekura strategy was a major milestone. 


NZ Herald: Women's Refuge says education shift needed, as Govt allocates more than $100m to stop family and sexual violence 


Stuff: Budget 2022: Government commits $114.5m to family and sexual violence prevention 


1 News: Govt announces $115m into family and sexual violence prevention 

RNZ: Helping Combat Family Violence in Aotearoa's Ethnic Communities 


Unitec: Increased family violence funding must enhance support for kaupapa Māori initiatives 


Newshub: Budget 2022: Opposition supports spending on preventing violence, but wants results as statistics reveal dire situation 

Stuff: All Government departments under review after murder of 5-year-old Malachi Subecz 

Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis expects a review of all Government departments which could have intervened before the murder of 5-year-old Malachi Subecz. 

But the terms of reference for such a review are yet to be finalised. 

Davis said the details for the review, including who would lead it, would not be finalised for “a few” weeks. It could include police, Oranga Tamariki, Corrections and possibly the courts and education. 


Newsroom: How a broken system for protection orders fails victims of domestic violence 

The Family Court still fails to recognise the risk of non-physical forms of violence and often insists perpetrators are notified before granting protection 


Stuff: Starship launches youth mental health app as self-harm among young people spikes 

Children and adolescents have been self-harming in greater numbers since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, new data shows. 

Since March 2020, admissions of children and adolescents to hospital due to self-harm have increased “considerably” – growing 50% in 10-14-year-olds.  

More than 5600 young people presented to hospital emergency departments with self-harm injuries around the country in 2021 alone. Since 2020, self-harm hospital admissions increased by 25% in the 15-19 age group. 

RNZ: Oranga Tamariki social workers failed to assess boy's ongoing safety after he retracted abuse allegation - review 

A mishandled allegation of abuse has revealed shortcomings in how Oranga Tamariki uses one of its most powerful tools for keeping children safe. 

The Child Protection Protocol is meant to ensure effective joint action by Oranga Tamariki (OT) and police to investigate and safeguard a child where there is a risk of immediate serious harm, or serious abuse is identified or suspected. 

But in the case of a Northland boy who accused his mother's partner of abusing him, before retracting the allegation soon after, social workers failed to follow protocol in more than a dozen different ways - including not following up on the boy's "ongoing safety" and not looking into his retraction. 

"Many aspects of it were not completed to a high standard," OT said in a summary of a review into the case, released to RNZ after a two-month wait. 


Newshub: Oranga Tamariki: Damning reports reveal shocking levels of self-harm, suicide attempts in care facilities

Oranga Tamariki: Damning reports reveal shocking levels of self-harm, suicide attempts in care facilities

A series of reports from the Children's Commissioner have highlighted serious problems at facilities run by Oranga Tamariki for some of the country's most vulnerable kids.



Newsroom: Third of Rotorua’s family harm calls to emergency accommodation 

Rotorua Council says in 2018 there were 70 family harm call-outs a week. Now it’s 120. 

One third of the 120 family harm calls a week in Rotorua are to emergency housing motels, the council says. 

The comments were made by Rotorua Lakes Council community wellbeing deputy chief executive Anaru Pewhairangi, at an Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting last week. 

A family harm advocate says emergency accommodation is an “incredibly unsafe” place for anyone, especially children. 

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says the need for emergency accommodation is not ideal, but is better than people sleeping rough in tents or cars. 

RNZ: Self-isolation supports scheme changing tack after Omicron peak 

A "return to greater normality" in care of Covid-19 cases in the community will see the government spend $58.1 million to cover services through to June next year. 

Announcing the extension to funding for Care in the Community welfare support this morning, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said New Zealand was pivoting to support a broader range of circumstances for people significantly impacted by Covid-19 requirements. 


Stuff: Boys' brains are beautiful, but they're leading them into trouble

Boys’ decisions are always washing up in the news. Stories of tragedies and seemingly senseless crimes play out almost daily, often accompanied by pictures of kids like Tyson who’ve suffered the ineffable consequences of their choices.

In just the past few weeks a spate of ram raids by young people in stolen cars have made the headlines and over the years young men have been involved in high profile crashes, like 15-year-old Bailey Patmore who died while travelling in the boot of a car fleeing police in 2018.

Ask almost any parent, and you’ll find it’s not just in those prominent cases we despair of the reckless decisions made by young men. But experts say young brains are programmed to be impulsive and while there are no easy answers a little understanding will go a long way.




Stuff: The hidden barrier holding metoo back - and the women who are challenging it 

Alison Mau is a senior journalist at Stuff, and editor of the #metooNZ project. 

OPINION: More than four years after Harvey Weinstein was exposed for decades of sexual harassment and assault, it's tempting to look around and ask, what has changed? Are workplaces safer? Are women with minimal power better supported when they make a complaint? Are children who report abuse believed? Are men, who often find it even harder to break society's rule of silence? 

The answer is yes in some progressive examples, and no in others. Some organisations are moving in meaningful ways - revising policies, creating clearer pathways for complainants and protecting the safety of complainants and respondents - but too often these actions are not made proactively, with the safety of the powerless in mind - they only act when forced to. 

In too many cases, the conversation in the C-suite and in boardrooms is still "how do we minimise the reputational damage now the world knows we've failed our people?" 


Newshub: Survivor of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol dependency hopes his 'meaningful mahi' will help others 

Warning: This story discusses sexual abuse and drug and alcohol dependency. 

Dallas Rahui Te Ahuru Adams is a survivor of sexual abuse and decades of drug and alcohol dependency, but it was through physical strength and fitness that he overcame his past. 

Stuff: Young girl so neglected and malnourished by mum that she developed 'psychosocial dwarfism' 

A woman has admitted neglecting and mistreating one of her daughters so badly that she developed ‘’psychosocial dwarfism’’. 

The woman, who has interim name suppression, pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court this week to two charges of neglecting a child 

The girl, one of five siblings, was born extremely premature, and suffered numerous complications. 

The extent of the mother’s neglect is covered in a 17-page summary of facts outlining various events in the girl’s life. The girl is now seven. 


Stuff: Childhood 'punishments' and rugby knocks suspected factors in man's violent behaviour 

A man convicted of assaulting his partner is to be assessed for whether historic head injuries affected his behaviour. 

Tukia Fotu, 31, had finished a 15-pack of Export Gold and bought another 24 box when his partner noticed he was getting argumentative, at his partner’s house in Blenheim on the morning of June 4, 2021. 

Without provocation, Fotu punched the woman in the face a number of times, and then started punching her legs, without giving any reason for his actions, ignoring her pleas to stop, the police summary of facts said. 

He threatened to kill her if she tried to leave her unit, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. 


Stuff: Victim impact statement 'most compelling' one judge has ever heard 

A woman who was sexually assaulted on her birthday said she was unlikely to ever celebrate one again, a South Taranaki court was told. 

The woman read out her victim impact statement at the sentencing of Matthew William Cavaney on one charge of unlawful sexual connection, to which he had earlier pleaded guilty. 

“I hate who I am now because of you. I used to be fun, now I’m just a hollow shell who exists,” she said. 

The statement, read to the Hāwera District Court on Tuesday, detailed the mental and physical effects she had suffered, including constant fatigue, insomnia, nightmares, tinnitus and difficulties concentrating, in the “two years, two months and seven days” since the assault on March 6, 2020. 

NZ Herald: Auckland crossbow case: Judge orders prison for shooter Daniel Vae 

A man with a lengthy history of domestic abuse was sent to prison today after he shot a crossbow at woman's head, barely missing her, then painted the word "snitch" outside her home. 

Auckland District Court Judge Brooke Gibson ordered Daniel Vae, 44, to serve two years and 11 months' prison for two representative charges of attempting to pervert justice. He was given concurrent sentences for multiple other charges, including assault with a weapon, willful damage, possession of methamphetamine and illegally possessing a weapon. 

Other charges were dropped, the court noted, after the woman he shot at became a hostile witness - declining to participate in the prosecution. 

NZ Herald: Sexual predator unsuccessfully appeals against conviction for trying to have sex with unconscious woman in hospital 

A man who caught a taxi to follow an intoxicated female in an ambulance to the hospital before trying to have sex with her while she was unconscious, has had his appeal against his conviction thrown out. 

Cao Cuong Nguyen was convicted and sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment on June 9, 2021, after being found guilty in the Auckland District Court, of assault with intent to commit a sexual violation. 


Stuff: Wellington school caretaker appeals against convictions for abusing schoolboy 

A former Wellington school caretaker found guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing a boy, has appealed against his convictions and the 11-year prison sentence he’s now serving. 

Makshud Ahmed was 50 and the boy was 12 when the abuse allegedly began. 

At a Wellington District Court trial he pleaded not guilty and his defence had been the abuse did not happen. The jury found him guilty. 

But at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday Ahmed’s new lawyer, Cara Thorburn, argued the judge had not properly directed the jury on the legal elements of consent and reasonable belief in consent, on the five charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and one charge of attempted sexual violation. 

Stuff: Sexual 'monster' jailed for nearly 10 years in Timaru District Court 

A man described by his victims as a “monster” has been jailed for nine years and nine months for historic sexual abuse, including child rape, when he appeared in the Timaru District Court on Wednesday. 

The man, now 51, pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assaults on a young person (representative), two charges (one representative) of unlawful sexual connection and sexual violation by rape at an earlier hearing when he sentenced before Judge Joanna Maze. 

The victims, who were children aged around eight at the time the offending started in about 2010, both had victim impact statements read by others to the court that outlined the significant impact it had on them. 


Stuff: Man sentenced for unlawful sex with intoxicated teenager 

A former Waimate man who took advantage of a 15-year-old girl's intoxication to have sex with her will serve nine months’ home detention. 

Alex James Hall, 29, admitted a charge of unlawful sexual connection with a young person when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze in the Timaru District Court on Wednesday. 

“There is no doubt the consequences of this offending for the victim have been very grave,” Judge Maze told Hall. 

The victim impact statement read to the court said the offending had impacted the girl’s life and how she thinks about men. 

Category: News Media