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Weekly Media Roundup

June 23, 2022 at 3:50 PM

The Spinoff: How is less accountability going to make Oranga Tamariki better? 

Despite overwhelming public opposition, the government is pressing on with a bill that would reduce independent oversight of an agency that’s been plagued with problems. And that’s just the start of its failures, argues Luke Fitzmaurice. 


Newsroom: Labour alone on unpopular Oranga Tamariki reforms 

Despite opposition from the overwhelming majority of submitters, the Government looks set to push through changes to watchdogs of the care and protection system 

Stuff: MPs across the house get in line to criticise Oranga Tamariki bill 

Opposition parties have lined up against an overhaul of the way Oranga Tamariki is monitored and the dismantling of the Children’s Commissioner amid fears the proposed bill will weaken the services meant to protect vulnerable children and young people. 

ACT, Greens, National and the Māori Party have called for the bill, which would replace the Children's Commissioner with a three to six-person board and split oversight of Oranga Tamariki between a new Independent Monitor and the Ombudsman, to be halted. 


Stuff: PM backs Oranga Tamariki Oversight Bill despite overwhelming criticism

The prime minister is throwing her support behind the proposed Oranga Tamariki Oversight Bill despite a survivor’s plea for it to be halted.

It comes amid growing condemnation of the proposed overhaul by victims of abuse in state care, advocates and the Children’s Commissioner.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants the bill implemented, saying she has concerns about delaying it too long, however, Tupua Urlich, a survivor of abuse in state care, says the proposal is nothing short of insulting.



Stuff: Unsolicited explicit photos to teens form of abuse, say researchers 

Researchers are seeing a big increase in the amount of unsolicited explicit photos being sent to young girls. 

University of Auckland senior lecturer in criminology Dr Claire Meehan works with young people aged from around 12 to 16 years old. 

Meehan said she was seeing a “massive rate of threats of image based sexual abuse”, which she described as “sending an image without consent”. 


Stuff: Teach Us Consent: The fight to get mandatory sexual consent education in schools 

An Auckland University student is platforming sexual assault survivors’ stories in a bid to get mandatory sexual consent education included in the school curriculum. 

Genna Hawkins-Boulton, 24, said “comprehensive and holistic consent education is a basic right that every student should have access to”. 

Hawkins-Boulton is a survivor of sexual assault and said she wondered if that could have been avoided if both herself and the perpetrator were taught about consent. 


Stuff: Reports of sexual assault in schools, universities up 70% since 2015

Police are receiving just over 70% more sexual assault reports from people in schools and universities than five years ago, according to data received in an Official Information Act request.

In 2021, 237 people reported being sexually assaulted at an education facility – compared with 139 reports in 2015 and 129 in 2016.

So far this year, more than 45 people in schools and universities reported sexual assaults to police.




NZ Herald: Murder charge laid a month after South Auckland baby death 

A man is now facing a charge of murder after a critically-injured baby died in a South Auckland medical centre last month. 

Today police said they had laid a murder charge as part of the homicide investigation into the death of a baby in Ōtara on May 23. 

Counties Manukau CIB Detective Inspector Warrick Adkin said a 24-year-old man previously charged by police would now face an upgraded charge. 


NZ Herald: Mum of girl raped, violated, filmed by Christchurch CEO shares nightmare journey 

On the surface, Wayne Smith was a normal man, a nice man, a good father and friend, a successful businessman. 

But it was all a facade. 

Beneath the "normal" was an ugly truth - Smith was one of the country's worst child sex offenders. 

Beneath the "nice" was a depraved manipulator with a penchant for vile images of babies and young people being exploited and bestiality. 

He engaged with paedophiles online and connected with children overseas who he groomed and instructed to perform lewd acts. 

He set up cameras in his house to capture his rapes and abuses of a young girl whose mother trusted him. 

After a gruelling journey through the justice system, the little girl's mother is finally able to share her story. 


NZ Herald: Abuse in care: 'Prison was heaven' compared to foster care, says survivor who was beaten and shot at by father 

New Zealand children have long been taken from their families by the state because they were considered at risk of abuse or neglect. 

But despite being taken for their own safety, they were often placed in the hands of families who hurt or neglected them. 

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care shifted its focus this week to foster care and family homes in New Zealand in the second half of the 20th century. 


RNZ: UN pushes government to compensate former state ward Malcolm Richards for torture 

The United Nations committee against torture has urged the government to compensate a former patient of the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital. 

It found Hawke's Bay man Malcolm Richards was tortured at the child and adolescent unit there in the 1970s. 

Richards was 15 years old when he was sent by his mother to Lake Alice, near Marton, for two months in 1975. 

He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and administered drugs and given electric shock treatment, often without anaesthetic, the results of which still affect him. 

Richards has successfully taken a case to the United Nations committee - the second former patient to do so after Paul Zentveld. 


Stuff: The changing lives of our children: NZ kids spending more time at preschool, starting younger 

Gone are the days when little ones spent their preschool years at home. So who’s looking after our children and what effect does this have on their development? FRANK FILM reports. 


RNZ: Health approach to drugs more effective than prohibition: Drug Foundation 

The Drug Foundation says the expansion of a methamphetamine treatment programme shows a health approach to drugs is far more effective than prohibition. 

The Te Ara Oranga programme was opened in Bay of Plenty yesterday after a successful pilot scheme in Northland. 

It is a partnership between police, mental health and addiction services; iwi and community groups. 

Stuff: Faster alcohol policy changes could follow law reform - expert 

An alcohol harm watchdog says councils could review their local alcohol policies faster if national alcohol law reform comes into effect. 

Dr Nicki Jackson, executive director of Alcohol Healthwatch, told Local Democracy Reporting that once a local alcohol policy is adopted by Council, it can be reviewed at any time. 

She added that if MP Chlöe Swarbrick’s amendment of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill forces a law change and removes the appeals process, councils could bring forward a review of the policy. 


NZ Herald: West Auckland death: Murder charge after man died at Ranui home 

A man is to appear in the Waitakere District Court today charged with the murder of a man in Ranui at the weekend. 

Waitematā CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Megan Goldie said police investigating the death have today charged a 47-year-old man with the killing. 

Emergency services were called around 10pm on Sunday to a Ranui Station Rd property following a sudden death. 

NZ Herald: Man charged with assaulting three-month-old Masterton baby remanded in custody

A three-month-old baby is in Starship hospital in a critical condition, and the man alleged to have caused the injuries will stay behind bars - for now.

The 34-year-old, who was granted interim name suppression today in the Masterton District Court, faces charges of wounding the infant with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The baby remains in a critical condition in Starship children's hospital.



NZ Herald: Sex offender behind bars after being found guilty of bestiality and abusing young boy 

A sex offender who has been found guilty of charges involving bestiality and abusing a young boy will remain behind bars until his sentencing. 

Anthony Daryl Hoyle went on trial in the Whanganui District Court on Monday before Judge Bruce Northwood and a jury of six men and six women. 


Stuff: Man who preyed on girl while she slept jailed for causing 'immeasurable' harm 

A Christchurch man who told police he was “monstrous” after admitting sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl has been named as a judge jailed him. 

The “vile”, “disgraceful” and “unthinkable” actions of James Christopher Middleditch, 28, had caused “immeasurable” harm, a mother told a court about the impact of his crimes against her daughter. 

Stuff: Taranaki man jailed after sexually assaulting sleeping friend 

The victim of a sexual assault committed by someone she thought was a friend feels like she is the one serving a sentence since her life spiralled out of control in the aftermath, a court was told. 



Stuff: Man who preyed on underage boys imprisoned

The victims of a Nelson man who performed sexual acts on them say their lives have been permanently changed by his abuse.



NZ Herald: Father finally awarded costs after failed charge of killing baby; judge blasts police failures

A judge has blasted police over "significant" failures and ordered them to pay $175,000 to a man they accused of killing his baby son.

Detectives went to extraordinary lengths in their investigation into Mr S, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after the death of the 11-month-old child five years ago.



NZ Herald: Man sentenced for exchanging sexually explicit messages with 12-year-old girl

WARNING: Some details in this story may be distressing.

Believing a 19-year-old man with who she had been exchanging sexually explicit messages, was travelling to her school to meet her, a 12-year-old became scared and told a friend whose father was a police officer.

Jordan Leslie Hill was subsequently charged with travelling to meet a minor for sex and two representative charges of indecently communicating with someone aged under 16.


Category: News Media