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2022

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Weekly Media Roundup

June 17, 2022 at 4:07 PM

Scoop: Atawhai: Making It Safe To Talk About Family Violence In Healthcare 

New research makes it easier for healthcare workers to respond to family violence, by connecting primary care services with community knowledge and resources. 

Re: Self-harm hospitalisations double for 10- to 14-year-olds 

Content warning: This article discusses mental health and self harm. 

For Keira Arnold, the hardest part of the pandemic was feeling isolated and disconnected from real life connections.  

“During the pandemic we’ve been completely online and that takes a huge toll on teenagers. These are our formative years, and we have to spend them at home,” the 18-year-old says. 

“Over time you start to get used to it but it still hurts to be so cut off from the rest of the world.” 

Keira has struggled with mental health issues for most of her life.  

But she says since the pandemic, mental illness among young people has become normalised because it is now even more widespread. 

  

Stuff: Rising violence among young teens prompts school concerns 

Schools say a “vicious” assault on a student, videoed and shared by other students, mirrors a growing trend of violence among some young teenagers – and increasing hardship. 

Principal of Nayland College Daniel Wilson said the assault on a year 9 student took place at the Nelson high school on May 24. 

  

NZ Herald: Truancy crisis: Government sets attendance targets in new strategy to get kids to school 

The Government will redesign the Attendance Service and set what it calls "ambitious" school attendance targets to try and improve New Zealand's dire truancy rates. 

School attendance has been steadily declining since 2015 and has been made worse by Covid. The fall has been across every decile, year level, ethnicity and region, with the biggest drop among primary and intermediate kids. 

Complex factors have been blamed, from poverty and family violence through to an uninspiring curriculum and bullying at school. 

Speaking this afternoon at the launch of a new attendance strategy, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said the Government had decided "enough is enough" and it needed to turn things around. 

  

Stuff: Government initiatives to reduce whānau violence stall, despite praise 

Ministers, the Opposition and experts in family violence agree Māori-led responses are pivotal to stopping the cycle of domestic abuse – yet major Government projects to bolster such services have stalled. 

The Family Violence Death Review Committee issued a report, this week, highlighting existing Māori-led responses to family violence as the most effective programmes to reduce domestic abuse. 

It called on government agencies to facilitate the expansion of Māori-led services, noting that in the decade to 2019, Māori made up 44% of family violence-related deaths. 

Marama Davidson, the minister for prevention of family and sexual violence, welcomed the report and said it reaffirmed a 25-year strategy she launched last year. 

  

Stuff: The programme working to remove toxic stress, keep whānau together 

During the past few years, a light has been shone on the trauma that comes when children are removed from their families. Laura Walters takes a look at a programme that helps keeps whānau together. 

  

Stuff: Beware the politicians who promise to solve crime 

Beware the politicians offering simplistic and rushed solutions. Because crime – and the reasons for offending - are often complicated. 

Luxon’s solutions, packaged in a speech to his party’s Northern Regional Conference, are not solutions at all because they do not take account of correlations between family violence, childhood poverty and limited educational choices. He makes a passing reference to re-instating social investment – but his answers to gang violence are shallow and cosmetic. 

  

Stuff: Difficulty for elderly to navigate support services a key factor in neglect 

The challenges elderly people face accessing care services, and the consistent erosion of those services, are increasing the risk of elder abuse. 

That’s the view of Age Concern social workers, who are well versed in the psychological, physical and financial neglect older people in the region are experiencing 

Most abuse occurs behind closed doors with Age Concern New Zealand estimating one in 10 people over 65 experience some form of harm, neglect or abuse, with most being made victims through the actions of family members. 

Stuff: Children's Commissioner slams select committee over Oranga Tamariki oversight Bill 

The Children’s Commissioner has slammed a parliamentary select committee for undermining child safety after it recommended a new oversight system for Oranga Tamariki. 

The controversial ‘Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill’ comes amid a Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care, which many opponents of the bill had hoped would be concluded before any changes to Oranga Tamariki were submitted. 

The Social Services and Community Select Committee released its report on the proposed bill on Monday, after receiving more than 500 submissions from the public. 

  

Stuff: State care survivor horrified by Oranga Tamariki oversight bill 

 

1 News: Oranga Tamariki reform could make things worse - expert 

 

NZ Herald: Nawton murder: Man admits murder of mother-of-four in home 

A man has admitted the brutal slaying of his partner with a boning knife as their young baby slept in between her legs and their 4-year-old had no choice but to look on. 

The 35-year-old today admitted murdering Ngawai Kararaina Maria Himiona in their Kentucky Cres, Nawton, Hamilton home about 11.15pm on December 16, 2020. 

Himiona's family watched proceedings via audio visual link in the High Court at Hamilton. 

 

NZ Herald: Papatoetoe murder: Beant Singh pleads guilty to killing wife 

A man whose 42-year-old wife was found dead at their South Auckland home in 2020 has admitted to having murdered her. 

Beant Singh, 49, had been set to go to trial next month in the High Court at Auckland. 

He instead stood before Justice Geoffrey Venning today, stating "yes" through a Punjabi interpreter when asked if he wished to plead guilty. 

 

NZ Herald: Epsom double stabbing: Man who killed Herman and Elizabeth Bangera to remain at mental facility 

A man who stabbed to death a married couple in Epsom last year turned his knife on them only after they both tried to intervene while he stabbed their friend who he believed was Satan, it was revealed today as the man was ordered to stay indefinitely at a lockdown psychiatric facility 

The man, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in March, appeared in the High Court at Auckland last week for a disposition hearing before Justice Neil Campbell. 

In a written judgment released to the media today, Campbell declined to order the psychiatric patient's immediate release and also rejected the man's request for permanent name suppression. However, suppression remains in place on an interim basis while the decision is appealed. 

 

NZ Herald: Ben McIntosh Glen Eden murder: Trio appear in court, get name suppression 

Three people who appeared in court in relation to the murder of Benjamin McIntosh have all been granted interim name suppression and will remain in custody for now. 

The trio, two men jointly charged with McIntosh's murder, and a female who was charged with being an accessory after the fact, were arrested on Thursday and charged overnight. 

They appeared before Judge Lisa Tremewan in the Waitākere District Court today, one week after the 36-year-old was found in a critical condition in his car with a gunshot wound at Harold Moody Park in the Auckland suburb of Glen Eden. 

 

The Spinoff: Objectors baffled by ‘duplicitous’ opening of controversial Auckland bar 

After his liquor licence application received dozens of objections, a domestic violence-accused former reality TV show contestant appeared to drop his plans for a K Road bar. So how did it manage to open? 

 

RNZ: Clients cautious over impact of damning review on ACC privacy breaches 

ACC clients and advocates who raised concerns about the way personal information was managed at the agency are welcoming a damning report that found ACC lacks a strong privacy culture. 

The review, prompted by RNZ's reporting, found ACC's privacy policies were outdated, had gaps and were poorly understood by staff. 

A man RNZ has agreed to call Matthew*, whose old sensitive claim was viewed hundreds of times by 92 staff said the review's findings were unsurprising and he had little faith that real change would occur. 

 

Newshub: People who are sexually attracted to children urged to self-refer for therapy through new Govt-funded pilot 

Warning: This article discusses childhood sexual abuse and may be distressing for some readers.  

A new research project is urging adults who experience sexual attraction to children and young people to self-refer themselves for specialist therapy. 

 

RNZ: Abuse in Care inquiry to begin: 'You just hope it would never happen again' 

The state foster-care system comes under the scrutiny of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care starting today. 

It is the 12th public hearing carried out so far by the commission, set up in 2018 to look into historical abuse in both state and faith-based care between 1950 and 1999. 

Five hundred people have come forward to the inquiry saying they were abused while in foster care. 

Counsel assisting Aroha Fletcher said instead of being loved and supported, some survivors were treated inhumanely. 

 

RNZ: Victim details life-long trauma of family abuse - 'I used to lie there and let her hurt me' 

As the Abuse in Care inquiry turns its focus on foster care, victims of abuse are speaking out. This is the story of Christine and her sister. 

People who were abused and neglected while in foster care will be telling their stories of surviving in the system at hearings starting on Monday. 

Christine*, 24, and her younger sister grew up in foster care after their mum had to go on mental health treatment. 

She said the time in residential care was not what she expected. 

 

RNZ: Abuse survivor says prison life was safe and enjoyable compared to life as a state ward 

Warning: This story contains details of abuse. 

A survivor of abuse while in care says his time in jail was heaven compared with being in foster care. 

It was the honest view of 64-year old Mr EC in his evidence to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care and its hearing on state foster care yesterday. 

He spent time in family homes in Māngere and Clevedon from the age of about six. He experienced unspeakable violence and abuse. 

RNZ: Woman abused at home and in care tells story to stop other children suffering 

A woman abused at home and in foster care says all she really wants is for people to hear her story and that her abuse never happens again to any other child. 

She was one of three survivors giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care at the opening on Monday of its inquiry into the foster care system between 1950 and 1999. 

Elison Mae, who is now 67 was put into care as her parents could not provide the basic requirements of food and shelter. 

 

Stuff: 'House of horrors': Woman sexually abused by both foster father and brother 

A woman testifying before the Abuse in Care inquiry about the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of foster parents in what she called the “house of horrors” became so overwhelmed with emotion that she had to abandon her testimony. 

The 37-year-old woman, only identified as Mrs EJ, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care how she was sexually abused by her foster father and his biological son, beaten so badly that her front tooth was broken, and forced to work rather than go to school. 

The woman was taken into state care in 1996 when she was 11 or 12 years old. She was about 13 years old when she was sent to live with a couple on a farm in West Otago, close to the boundary with Southland, as a foster child. The couple also had two biological children and two adopted children. 

Mrs EJ is autistic, but was misdiagnosed as having ADHD as a child. She said because her autism went undiagnosed, she struggled socially, and her behaviour was often misunderstood. 

 

Newshub: Woman tells Royal Commission of racism she endured while in foster care 

Warning: This story discusses racism and abuse and may be distressing for some people. 

Witnesses giving evidence at a hearing into state abuse have described the racism they endured while in foster care. 

Kathleen Coster was given away at birth to a Pākehā mother and father. 

"I didn't know I was dark because growing up from zero to seven, when people said, 'Oh you've got a dark child there', she would say, 'Well she spends a lot of time in the sun'." 

Across 10 different foster placements, she endured a resounding racist message and was referred to as a dirty child. 

 

Stuff: Woman abused in foster care forced to eat her own vomit 

A woman targeted by multiple physical and sexual abusers while in care as a child says one foster mother withheld food from her for days, then force-fed her until she vomited and made her eat it. 

The woman, now 49 years old, testified on Wednesday before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care into the treatment of survivors in the foster care system from 1950 to 1999. 

The woman, identified only as Ms ED, was first uplifted from her parents when she was 18 months old and was in state care until she was 19 years old. She had 36 care placements, mostly in Christchurch, with different foster parents and children's homes. 

When she was 9, she was placed in foster care with a couple where she was “treated like an animal”. 

 

1 News: Horrors of foster care recalled by abuse survivor 

"Am I going to die today?" It was a question Hemi McCallum asked every day of his life between the ages of nine and 13.y Video02:27 

The Southland man first went into foster care when he was just a toddler because of his parents' 'Once were Warriors' lifestyle. After years of being shunted around various foster homes, he had learnt to keep his emotions suppressed. But in 1969 he said the "worst of my nightmare started". 

The details of which he wrote in a testimony read by niece Tania Carran on the opening day of this week's foster care public hearing. Written before he died of cancer in March this year, his story will help inform the Royal Commission on the experience of those in foster and family-home placements between 1950 and 1999. 

RNZ: Next stage agreed in 90-year-old's charges over alleged child abuse at Lake Alice 

A pre-trial hearing for a 90-year-old former Lake Alice psychiatric hospital worker accused of ill-treating children there in the 1970s will likely take place in November. 

Lawyers in the John Richard Corkran case appeared briefly in the High Court at Wellington on Monday for an administrative hearing. 

Corkran, from Marton, was not present, but has previously pleaded not guilty to eight charges and elected trial by jury when appearing in the Whanganui District Court. He is on bail. 

The six named complainants were at Lake Alice's child and adolescent unit between 1974 and 1977. One charge related to an unidentified former patient. 

 

1 News: Dame Silvia Cartwright to lead Dilworth abuse inquiry 

Former Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright has been appointed as the head of an independent inquiry into abuse at Auckland's Dilworth School. 

The boy's boarding school has also announced high-profile human rights lawyer Frances Joychild QC will join as the co-inquirer. 

The news is being welcomed by a class action group of 130 former students, alleging the school failed to protect them from systemic abuse. 

It has spent over a year pushing for the inquiry. 

 

Stuff: The Hardest Word 

When child survivors of the sexual abuse at Centrepoint called for an apology from the commune’s adults, what happened? It’s complicated. 

 

1 News: Gloriavale rewriting document that gives husbands control over wives 

Gloriavale’s leadership is rewriting a controversial document that gives husbands complete control over their wives. 

TVNZ’s Sunday programme has highlighted the pledge members make when they join the West Coast commune, which includes losing the right to say “no” to sex in marriage. 

‘What We Believe’ was written by the late founder Hopeful Christian, who was convicted of sexual offending. 

In a statement to 1News, Gloriavale leader Peter Righteous said the document is “way out of date and is being revised”. 

 

1 News: Govt action needed at Gloriavale to ensure change - leaver 

A Gloriavale leaver says greater agency involvement is needed to ensure there is meaningful change within the tight knit, secretive West Coast community.

Read more... 

 

Stuff: 'It's a secret with Wayne': The moment a child rapist was revealed 

It was a mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter confided in her a secret she had been keeping about a man she trusted. Sam Sherwood talks to the mother about her quest for justice. 

Stuff: Another school abuse case shows the failings of our education leaders 

Peter Boock is a sexual abuse survivor and a member of the Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and Their Supporters. 

OPINION: If you still need convincing of the need for mandatory reporting of sexual assault allegations in state and faith-based institutions you need look no further than the recent case of David “Bummer” Bond. 

Bond was convicted in March this year of 22 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys spanning a 40-year teaching career. 

Like so many before him, Bond had been the subject of a string of complaints in the decade before his offending was finally brought to the attention of the police. 

 

NZ Herald: Convicted and censured: Doctor assaults wife, threatens to shoot police 

A doctor with a criminal history poured alcohol over his wife, ripped open her shirt to prod her torso with a fork while calling her fat, and threatened to shoot police as the incident unfolded. 

But the general practitioner, whose name and identifying details are permanently suppressed, is still allowed to practice, a medical authority has ruled. 

 

NZ Herald: Brother sentenced to community detention for historical rapes of sister 

A brother who raped his younger sister "numerous" times throughout their childhood has now been convicted of the crimes but the punishment imposed will see him continue to lead a relatively normal life. 

Today, the 29-year-old Taranaki man, who has permanent name suppression, will begin a six-month sentence of community detention, placing him on a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 6am. 

While Judge Tony Greig acknowledged such a crime would usually result in jail time, he was satisfied the outcome met the purposes of sentencing given the man's youth at the time of offending and other factors that were not revealed at the latest court hearing. 

 

NZ Herald: 'This is bull****': Man reacts in court after being jailed for downloading child abuse material 

Dale Cramond's failure to accept responsibility for downloading explicit child abuse material was evident in his dramatic exit from a courtroom today. 

The 32-year-old described by a judge as having an "incredibly warped mind", and by the Crown as having "no realistic rehabilitation prospects" was escorted yelling and cursing, from the courtroom at the start of his 26-month prison sentence. 

NZ Herald: Father who sexually, physically abused stepkids jailed 

This story deals with sexual assault and can be triggering for some readers. 

A man sexually assaulted his young stepdaughter twice a week for more than a year, and subjected her to vicious assaults with not only his hands but a hairbrush and cellphone charger. 

NZ Herald: Auckland artist Bino Smith sentenced for fracturing daughter's face 

A gang-member-turned-artist punched his daughter, fracturing her face in two places, a court has heard. 

Warren Pahia Smith, 57, known as Bino Smith, gave up his patch in pursuit of his art and has since worked on the sets of Hollywood blockbusters including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, according to his website. 

His appearance in the Dunedin District Court this week represented a "significant fall from grace", Crown prosecutor Craig Power said. 



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