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Weekly Media Roundup

August 05, 2022 at 4:16 PM

1 News: Call for more training for GPs to help domestic violence victims 

Health practitioners, such as general practitioners (GP's) need more training to help domestic violence victims, according to a report published by the Medical Journal of Australia. 

The report says GP's are a good first port of call for domestic violence victims because they often have good, trusting relationships with each other. 

Weighing in on the issue, NZ College of GPs medical director Bryan Betty says New Zealand has a serious domestic violence problem and frontline health practitioners need to be better equipped. 


The Spinoff: A taonga of their own: The ambitious bid to give pounamu to every child in state care 

When you’re a young person in the care system, your few possessions become treasures. That’s part of the reasoning behind a programme distributing pounamu to tamariki and rangatahi in state care – all 6,000 of them. 


RNZ: Government urged to pause Oranga Tamariki bill 

A new report out today urges the government to put the brakes on a bill that would establish a new independent monitor agency charged with overseeing Oranga Tamariki. 

The 46 page report - "Improving a System When Young Lives are at Stake" - says having the new entity as a government department means it can't be independent enough from the bureaucracy its supposed to be criticising in cases where children and young people may be suffering harm. 

Report authors former senior public servant David King, and Victoria University emeritus professor of public policy Jonathan Boston spoke to Corin Dann. 


Scoop: New Report Says Oranga Tamariki Oversight Bill Risks A ‘Vicious Cycle’ Of Increasing Harm To Children And Young People 

Press Release: David King 

A major new report on the Government’s proposed changes to the oversight of the Oranga Tamariki System and to the role and structure of the office of the Children’s Commissioner has been released today. 

Called Improving a System When Young Lives are at Stake, the report has been authored by two public policy experts, David King, a senior public servant for 20 years, and Jonathan Boston, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. 

‘The report’s key conclusion is that establishing the “Independent” Monitor of Oranga Tamariki as a government department (hosted by ERO) means it is not independent enough from the bureaucracy or politicians to ensure children and young people are protected from harm. 


Newshub: Political parties, state care survivors worried by Oranga Tamariki oversight legislation 

A new report says proposed changes to Oranga Tamariki risk increasing child abuse and sweeping it under the carpet. 

The Bill is currently making its way through Parliament despite widespread opposition and the report authors are urging the Government to halt its progress, and listen to state care survivors. 

"Thirty-nine young people took their own lives between 2017 and 2021 while in the care of the state," Ihorangi Reweti-Peters, a state care survivor, said during Youth Parliament last month. 

He got support from fellow youth MPs after calling for politicians to fix a system he said is failing young people like him. 


Stuff: Don't let the inquiry's findings gather dust on the shelf of power 

Matthew Whiting, who has spastic quadriplegia with a speech impediment, is the Canterbury regional disability leadership coordinator and service manager for CCS Disability Action. He gave evidence last month to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission public hearing focused on disabled, deaf and mental health institutional care. 


NZ Herald: 'Horrifying': Laws allowing consent as a court defence for sex with a minor need reform 

WARNING: This article discusses sexual abuse and may be upsetting. 

The defence of a man charged with raping a 12-year-old girl has highlighted a growing call to urgently address New Zealand's consent laws. 

A judge, three jurors and a registrar all fought back tears as Tulisi Leiataua was found guilty of 33 charges of sexual abuse against two girls, the youngest of whom was 8 when it started. 

It was a harrowing trial in which the defence centred around sex with the oldest girl being consensual and therefore not rape. 


Re: It’s 2022 and NZ law still doesn’t define what consent is 

Content warning: This article discusses rape, sexual assault, and mental health. 

When Layba Zubair opened up about her sexual assault she says people kept asking her: “Why didn’t you report it to the police?” 

One in four people in New Zealand experience sexual assault in their lifetime, but 94% of those assaults are not reported to the police. 

Layba says it’s no surprise the majority of survivors of sexual assault are not reporting their abuse because the current law does not do enough to support them. 


NZ Herald: Wahine toa Māhera Maihi helps young Māori from gangs, poverty 

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air 

A young Māori wahine is helping South Auckland youth escape from cycles of family violence, gangs, and poverty through her charity. 

"I was tired of waiting for other people to come up with solutions for young Māori. We're dying - I nearly died - and no matter where I went no one had a holistic idea of how to solve our issues." 

This is according to Māhera Maihi, who set up Te Huruhuru in Manukau with the intention of shifting negative youth attitudes from within her community. 


Stuff: Victims struggling to recover years after leaving violent relationships 

Two years after escaping an extremely violent relationship, Kylee Dodunski’s scars run deep. 

While the emotional wounds caused by the beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torment will never leave her, she’s tried to mask the physical hallmarks with tattoos. 

Now faced with the challenge of finding a new rental – the latest in a series of obstacles to try and put life back together – the Taranaki woman feels immediately judged by her appearance. 


RNZ: Painful drug administered to youngest known Lake Alice patient 

Warning: This story contains details of unacceptable treatment of young people, including children 

A watchdog group has discovered a former patient of Lake Alice's child and adolescent unit was just five years old when he was sent to the notorious psychiatric hospital near Marton. 

He is the youngest known patient of the unit, and his medical records reveal he was given a painful paralysing drug, probably as a punishment. 

He arrived at Lake Alice in 1978, after the unit's lead psychiatrist, Dr Selwyn Leeks, had moved to Australia. 

Former patients, who were mostly in their teens when sent to the unit, remember Leeks and other staff dishing out electric shocks and the drug paraldehyde as punishment. 


Stuff: Woman was forced to marry the son of the priest who raped her 

When Barbara was 18 she was forced into a marriage with the son of a priest who raped her. 

Barbara, whose name has been changed to protect her family’s identity, has made a complaint to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care about how the priest raped her and forced her to marry his secret son, who later went on to sexually abuse their children and grandchild. 

It was 1966 when Barbara was forced to marry a 33-year-old man, who she later learned was the son of Fr George “Doc” Harrison, the then Parish Priest in Hokitika who she says pushed her into the marriage with the support of a nun who was head teacher at her school. 

“The effects of this are still impacting devastatingly on my life and that of my children and grandchildren,” she said. 


NZ Herald: Queensland study reveals horror rise in men threatening to burn their partners alive 

Warning content discusses domestic violence. 

Domestic and family violence perpetrators in Queensland are increasingly threatening to set their current and former partners alight, a new study has found, with cases spiking after the horrific 2020 murders of Hannah Clarke and her children. 

The report, co-authored by UQ TC Beirne School of Law senior lecturer Joseph Lelliott and associate lecturer Rebecca Wallis, details testimonies from seven non-government domestic and family violence service providers in the state's southeast. 

Direct and implicit threats of dousing are a form of coercive control that has not been formally studied before. 


RNZ: Experts warn teachers and parents to look out for long Covid in children 

While research suggests it is less likely for a child to get long Covid, there are calls for symptoms to be recognised and for funding into research. 

After a family wedding in March this year, Becca's family all caught Covid-19. She has four children, two of them have fully recovered, but her three- and seven-year old are still battling debilitating symptoms almost five months on. 

"My seven-year-old especially was really quite fatigued afterwards, the first day of school holidays he spent on the couch not wanting to get up and do anything. My three-year-old girl had the same thing - ongoing fatigue - she had quite an issue with a really chesty cough that lasted for honestly about four months and then both of them had issues with chest pain." 


1 News: 'Picture of poverty' through children's eyes revealed in study 

New research through the eyes of children living in poverty has presented "a complicated picture” of how their lives are affected, according to one researcher. 

A 2014 study saw 168 Wellington 12-year-olds wear a body camera for four days to record the world around them. 

Now, researchers are looking through the recorded footage to understand the daily differences between children living in hardship and privilege. 

Researcher and the director of the University of Otago's Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, Louise Signal, told Breakfast they found the children living in hardship lacked much. 


RNZ: Fire chiefs told to suspend those facing serious criminal cases 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is telling fire chiefs they should suspend volunteers facing serious criminal investigations, after a convicted child sex abuser was allowed to remain in a brigade. 

FENZ promised to review its policies after RNZ revealed earlier this year that the head of a brigade kept a volunteer firefighter on after he was charged and then convicted for indecently assaulting his young child. He wasn't kicked off the brigade until after he was sentenced. 

The fire chief put the man on non-public facing duties but continued to include him in training sessions and social activities, and pictures of the man were posted to the fire brigade's public Facebook page in the lead up to his trial. 

Guidelines for fire chiefs have now been changed so they are explicit about criminal investigations. 


NZ Herald: Nine guilty verdicts: Teenage rape and kidnap crimes catch up with Hastings man 

This story deals with the subject of rape and sexual abuse and may be distressing. 

The past came knocking for Yaell Verheul one summer morning early last year. 

It came in the form of Detective Monique Milne, who wanted to talk to the 32-year-old about two girls he knew 14 to 15 years ago, when they were all teenagers. 

Milne wanted to discuss whether he had threatened one of the girls with a shotgun and raped her. She wanted to know about when he had sex with that girl, and how old she was at the time. She wanted to talk about an incident when the second girl was attacked in his bedroom and escaped out of a window. 


NZ Herald: Home detention for Taranaki attacker in domestic violence incident involving a knife 

With her toddler in her arms, a woman endured an onslaught of punches before running from her attacker who chased them with a butcher's knife - a knife that would soon be held at her throat. 

Fearing for her child during the brutal attack, the woman managed to pass the 2-year-old to her father-in-law who ran with his grandchild to safety. 

However, the woman was unable to escape and continued to be beaten by her partner, William Hosie-Howe. 

On Wednesday, the grandfather sobbed in the public gallery of a courtroom as the violent event was recounted at the sentencing of his son, Hosie-Howe. 


NZ Herald: Rangiora father Niklas Gebhardt who killed son, 6, in fiery crash jailed 

A father who deliberately drove off the road at 130km/h, killing his 6-year-old son in a fiery car crash, has today been jailed for five years. 

An emotional sentencing hearing at the High Court in Christchurch this morning heard from Lachlan Gebhardt's heartbroken mother Kim Manson, who called her ex-partner Niklas Gebhardt a "coward" and a "monster". 

Manson said her "beautiful, sweet son" - whom she called her best friend - was killed in a "planned and calculated" act. 


Stuff: Mum of boy assaulted by sexual predator fears other children will be targeted 

A mum horrified at the sentence a recidivist sexual offender received for the indecent assault of her then 10-year-old son in 2020 says she is terrified for his next victim. 

The mother, who can not be named to protect the identity of her child, is adamant Stephen Edric Wilkinson will offend again when he is released. 

“The defendant is a very sick man. He has a compulsion, an addiction and cannot help himself,’’ she said. 

Wilkinson, 53, of Dunedin, was sentenced to three years, 10 months in jail, tagged with a minimum prison sentence of 30 months’, when he appeared in the High Court at Timaru on July 22. 


Stuff: Man who assaulted pregnant partner to be deported 

A man who assaulted his pregnant partner has lost his appeal against deportation from New Zealand. 

Vipul Vipul, 22, originally entered the country on a student visa. However, his enrolment was later terminated due to poor performance and attendance and his visa was cancelled. 

Vipul, a citizen of India, then applied for a partnership-based work visa. Immigration New Zealand declined that application because of concerns he and his partner – a New Zealand citizen – were not in a stable relationship. 

That was because of “multiple family harm episodes during the course of their two-year relationship”. 


Stuff: Man with over 3100 images and videos of child sex exploitation avoids jail 

A man who collected, personalised and organised a significant amount of child sex exploitation material for his own gratification has escaped jail. 

Michael Anthony Clayton, 49, appeared for sentencing in front of Judge Mark Callaghan at the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday, after earlier pleading guilty to a representative charge of knowingly possessing objectionable material. 

More than 3100 images and videos depicting child sex exploitation were found on Clayton’s devices when police searched his home on June 8, 2020. Police initially found him online. 


NZ Herald: Dunedin man jailed for sexual abuse of boy over four years 

A Dunedin man who repeatedly sexually abused a boy over four years told police it was "nothing ever serious". 

Brendon Ivan Remus (30) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and three of sexual conduct with a person under the age 12. 

He was jailed by Judge Kevin Phillips for two years and four months. 

Category: News Media