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Weekly Media Roundup

September 29, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Insight: The Family Court on Trial

Justice delayed is justice denied. 

Changes to the Family Court in 2014 were supposed to help parents navigate access arrangements for their children, without having to go through the expense and hassle of having to go to court. 

Two years on, some parents have faced lengthy court delays, crippling lawyers' bills and complain they are being shut out of their children's lives.

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New law scraps priority to place abused kids with relatives

A new law outlined today will axe a longstanding provision that gives priority to placing abused children with foster parents from the same extended family or tribe.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said the law would require that any child who is removed from its family and cannot be returned to immediate family "must be placed with a safe, stable and loving family at the earliest opportunity".

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We could be doing more to help child witnesses: lawyer

An Oamaru father-of-seven accused of hitting his child with a piece of wood until it broke and slapping his sons across the face has walked free after his children refused to testify against him.

The case comes during the same week new laws have passed, aiming to make it less traumatic for children to give evidence.

Meanwhile, Whangarei lawyer Emily Henderson, who specialises in child witness processes, says there is a range of simple changes courts should be making to improve the experience for children and assure the most accurate evidence is collected.

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Friendship House wants funding for men's violence counselling

Aggressive men wanting to change their ways can face a steep financial hurdle to getting the help they need.

Most of those who attend a Living Without Violence course at Friendship House in Manukau are mandated to do so by the courts.

Their costs are covered by contracts the organisation has with the Ministries of Justice and Corrections.

Men who self-refer to the programme have to stump up the fee, which is more than $1500.

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Opinion: Social workers day - a chance to say thanks CYF

Today is Social Workers' Day.

Along with teachers, nurses and others who care for our most vulnerable there would not be a group more deserving of recognition.

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HIV-related domestic violence must be addressed

Two HIV-support organisations say they are noticing issues of abuse and domestic violence in couples where one or other partner is infected by HIV.

Marama Pala of INA says the problem was detected through the support her organisation does for same-sex and heterosexual couples where one partner is infected by HIV.

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Job losses in Australian steel industry linked to a rise in domestic violence

Australian job losses have been linked to a rise in domestic violence rates in a new analysis of the impact of a major downturn in the steel industry.

The Illawarra Legal Centre, in New South Wales, has identified a 16 per cent increase in calls from victims of family and domestic violence during the last major downturn at Bluescope Steel when 1500 jobs were lost.

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Childcare centres threaten to sue over police vetting delays

Childcare centres are threatening to sue the police regarding delays in vetting new staff members.

Police have confirmed only about a quarter of requests for police checks on staff working with children have been processed within the required 20 working days in the past two months; only 22.7 per cent in July and 25.3 per cent in August.

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Guam signs sex abuse bill into law despite church opposition

Guam's Governor Eddie Calvo has signed into law a controversial bill that will allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated at any time.

Mr Calvo said the new law "opens the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children," but also cited several legal and technical concerns with the bill.

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Category: News Media