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2021

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Weekly Media Roundup

April 16, 2021 at 2:56 PM

RNZ: Does a sex offender register really keep children safe?

Urgent changes to the law on the child sex offender register mean hundreds of convicted offenders are back on the list. But one justice rights advocate says it doesn't mean that children are safer.

"What we know about child sex offending is that the vast majority of it goes undetected, unreported, unprosecuted in the community," says Jordan Anderson, whose PhD at Victoria University looks at the creation of the register and its impact.

"This register in New Zealand is solely a register for child sex offences, so we have not registered all sex offenders, we have deemed that sex offenders who have committed offences against children are the ones that need to be registered."

Today on The Detail, Anderson explains the tragic case of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989 in Minnesota that led to the establishment of a register in the US and triggered legislation to set up registers in other countries, including New Zealand.

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Newshub: Can racism be expelled from the police force?

Criminal justice reform advocates hope new research into systemic racism within the police can reverse decades of bias against Māori and Pasifika communities. 

In March, the force launched a long-term research project with the University of Waikato's Te Puna Haumaru NZ Institute for Security and Crime Science, "examining where bias may exist within police policies, processes, and practices".

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Stuff: The court said she was lying about being abused. She did a year on home detention. She wasn't lying

The court said she lied about being abused. She was convicted for perjury, and sentenced to a year on home detention. But she wasn’t lying. Kirsty Johnston reports.

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Stuff: No compensation for abuse victim's wrongful conviction – minister

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Newsroom: Abused wife condemned by judge, then wrongly convicted of perjury

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Stuff: Epsom stabbing: Accused admitted to Mason Clinic, will go to trial next April

The man accused of murder following a double stabbing in Epsom will go to trial next year.

The man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, faces two charges of murder and one charge of attempted murder, in relation to the deaths of married couple Elizabeth and Herman Bangera on March 19.

The 29-year-old, who was critically injured in the incident, was under police guard at Auckland City Hospital after the incident.

He has since been released and was set to appear at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday.

However, Justice Sally Fitzgerald said he had been admitted to the Mason Clinic.

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Stuff: Audio drama shines light on impact of abuse in state care

As a boy, Fa’amoana “John” Luafutu was given the nickname Piano because that was his mother’s first love.

Luafutu, who came to New Zealand with his family from Sāmoa, was one of thousands of Pasifika and Māori children placed into state care in the 1960s.

His life story has already been turned into two plays, The White Guitar and A Boy Called Piano, the latter of which received nightly standing ovations at Wellington’s BATS Theatre and was set to tour the country before Covid-19 struck.

After partnering with the Royal Commission of Abuse in State Care and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Pacific theatre company The Conch pivoted to help adapt Luafutu’s story once more, for both the screen and airwaves. While the screen development is in post-production, broadcaster RNZ will air the audio drama on Luafutu’s life next month. It’s been produced with the help of sponsors Auckland Live and Tour-Makers New Zealand.

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Stuff: Push to remove right to silence for child violence witnesses

A justice advocate’s bid to take away the right for witnesses to child deaths or violence against children to remain silent is being considered by a parliamentary committee.

The move is proposed to combat New Zealand's child abuse record, one of the worst among OECD countries and a problem that spans generations.

Scott Guthrie, an independent advocate from Manawatū, on Thursday spoke to the Justice Select Committee at Parliament about his suggested law change. A petition on the parliamentary website for the change attracted more than 4500 signatures.

The right to silence is an established legal principle for people accused of a crime, but Guthrie’s proposal covers witnesses to violent and deadly acts, not people facing charges.

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Stuff: 'It felt like a real family': What happens when blended families break up?

One in 10 Kiwi families are blended, and stepfamilies are increasingly common. But, as Eleanor Black reports, it can cause heartbreak when these families try to ‘un-blend’.

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NZ Herald: Wellington man convicted of rape after 'stealthing' - removing the condom during sex

A Wellington man has been convicted of rape after he removed a condom partway through intercourse without a woman's consent.

Wellington District Crime Squad manager, detective senior sergeant Haley Ryan, told the Herald this is the first known conviction for this type of offending in Aotearoa.

Stealthing is the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex, when a partner has only consented to sex with protection.

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Stuff: Not guilty plea to manslaughter charge over man's death after Waikato family harm incident

A man has pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charged laid almost a month after a fatal family harm incident.

The 42-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in Hamilton District Court on Thursday by audiovisual link.

The man who died was seriously injured in what police called a “family harm incident” at a Gordonton property on March 16, 2021.

Police launched a homicide investigation after he died in hospital the next morning.

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Stuff: Man, 61, attracts seventh drink-driving conviction after attack on partner

A 61-year-old man racked up his seventh drink-driving conviction after attacking his partner while she was driving and then getting behind the wheel when she fled the car.

Graeme Bramwell Pollock blew 1379 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, more than five times the legal limit, when police caught up with him at his Timaru home, about 12.15pm on October 7, 2020.

Pollock was sentenced to 12 months' supervision, six months' community detention with a 12-hour curfew, and disqualified from driving for 18 months when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday.

He had pleaded guilty to assaulting a person in a family relationship and driving with excess breath alcohol for a third or subsequent time.

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Stuff: Man throws woman to the floor after argument

A man with a history of family violence threw a woman to the floor after the pair argued.

Despite a protection order being in place since 2012, the woman was with Donald Munro at his place on September 27 in Palmerston North.

The pair had been drinking and were arguing.

The Palmerston North District Court heard on Wednesday that the woman decided to leave, thumping her fist into a table to make the point.

 “You reacted violently. You grabbed her and pushed her to the ground,” Judge Jonathan Krebs told Munro.

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NZ Herald: Prison for Lower Hutt man who filmed himself sexually abusing child

A Lower Hutt man who filmed himself sexually abusing his 8-year-old stepson has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

The 28-year-old, who has name suppression, also abused his two nieces, one of whom only realised what he'd done to her was wrong after completing a child abuse prevention programme at school.

The man appeared in the Hutt Valley District Court for sentencing this afternoon, having earlier pleaded guilty to sexual violation, indecent assault, performing an indecent act, and knowingly making and possessing objectionable publications.

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Stuff: Child rapist's victims will have 'nightmares for years' after regular abuse

“Get out of here, you lowlife.”

With these words a convicted child rapist was led away to begin serving a 13-year prison sentence, after he sexually abused two young girls, causing them to have “nightmares for years”.

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NZ Herald: Nigel Patrick Poa: Serial sex offender's family still 'love' him despite crimes which led to preventive detention

Nigel Patrick Poa's failure to tackle his demons and his prolific sex offending over decades has earned him a sentence of preventive detention.

The serial sex offender lived near several West Auckland schools but managed to avoid reoffending until his "triggers" were activated.

That's what the High Court at Auckland heard today when Poa, in his mid-50s, was sentenced for sexually violating a young girl.

Preventive detention means Poa will be subject to prison recall any time for the rest of his life.

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Stuff: Former Taranaki pastor loses bid for no convictions on indecent assaults

A woman who lost her job because she was afraid to walk alone could not tell her employer it was due to an indecent assault by her former pastor, the New Plymouth District Court heard.

“I lost who I was,” she said in one of the four victim impact statements read at the sentencing hearing of Nicholas Keig.

Keig, former pastor of the C3 (Christian City Church) in New Plymouth, was found guilty of four charges of indecent assault following a judge-alone trial in November last year.

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Category: News Media