ChildrenEthnicFamilyMenCounsellingEducationLegalMaoriWomenElderParentingCrisisCoordinationDisabilitySexual ViolenceYouth




Weekly Media Roundup

September 02, 2022 at 4:04 PM

Stuff: How laws to 'strengthen' child protection led to division, distrust, and accusations of an autocracy 

The state has incredible powers to remove children from their parents. But the development of new laws to monitor such powers – and prevent harm of kids in care – has been fraught from the start. Was the Government ever listening? National Correspondent Michelle Duff reports. 


Newsroom: Violence ignored in immigration changes 

The Government moved on changes to work rights for most temporary visa holders despite knowing of the increased domestic violence risk, according to an inquiry into migrant exploitation 


Stuff: 'He threatened to feed my cats to his dogs': how a pet refuge helped a woman escape a violent home 

In response to high rates of domestic violence and pet ownership in New Zealand, Pet Refuge was set up by KidsCan founder Julie Chapman. It provides temporary shelter for pets while their owners are supported to leave a dangerous home. 

The demand has been higher than they anticipated. 

Since opening in July 2021, it has taken in 186 pets and re-homed 131. Of the animals offered shelter, 31 were from the South Island (22 from Christchurch). 

The shelter was always at capacity, programme manager Nikki Marchant-Ludlow said, so the charity hoped to open a shelter in Christchurch and a second in Auckland. 


Newsroom: Crown Law blocks the police in rare, costly legal standoff 

Exclusive: Did the Government’s legal agency withhold evidence of the rape, torture and abuse of children from police investigations? Aaron Smale unravels an extraordinary paper trail. 


Newsroom: We must break this cycle from care into custody 

Even well-resourced residential care is developmentally damaging for children. Māori survivors continually reflect on the trauma of being forced into Pākehā cultural identities and the loss of te reo and broken connections to whānau, hapū and iwi 


RNZ: Dilworth School abuse survivors can apply for financial redress 

Survivors of sexual abuse at Dilworth School can now apply for financial redress from the school. 

Eleven men linked to Dilworth School have been charged over historical assault, totalling over 50 separate charges. 

The Auckland boarding school said any survivor of abuse committed by a Dilworth representative or student, as well as families of deceased survivors, could apply for compensation. 

Dilworth Trust Board chairman Aaron Snodgrass said the redress programme would be confidential and did not prevent survivors seeking other claims, such as from any future government scheme. 


NZ Herald: Dilworth: Victim tells independent inquiry some of his abused classmates took their own lives 

WARNING: This story discusses suicide and sexual abuse 

A former Dilworth student who was raped by a tutor has told an independent inquiry he believes some of the students abused at the private boarding school went on to take their own lives as they got older. 

Vaughan Sexton is one of nearly 140 men who have gone to police with sexual abuse allegations that have so far resulted in the arrest of 12 men, several of whom have already pleaded or been found guilty and are now in jail. 


Stuff: Hundreds of deaths linked to schools since 2019 'startling' and 'alarming' 

At least 360 people have died at schools and early childhood centres since 2019. 

Of those, 279 were classified as sudden deaths; the remaining 81 happened in accidental circumstances, new data reveals. 

Secondary Principals’ Council chairperson Kate Gainsford said these were “startling figures”, with their prevalence underscoring the need for schools to get their responses to traumatic events right to prevent further harm. 

“Sometimes people think schools exist separate to their communities, but sudden and accidental deaths happen in communities and schools are in the heart of those communities,” Gainsford, who is also Aotea College principal, said. 


Stuff: The ongoing cost of our failure to support childhood grief 

Dr Amanda Evans is a paediatrician and palliative care specialist at Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington. 

OPINION: Childhood grief is a hidden public health issue that needs more focused attention and immediate action. 

Children who experience the loss of a loved one, like a parent or sibling, suffer an adverse childhood event that can have a profound impact. 

Research tells us these children are more likely to suffer a chronic disease, mental health illness and potentially shorten their life. 

We also know these childhood events do not occur in isolation. 


Stuff: 'Wasn't stabbing her one, two, or three times enough?' Family's grief over mum's murder 

Warning – this story contains descriptions of graphic violence 

A Hamilton man will spend life in prison for murdering a young mother by stabbing her 17 times while her infant child slept between her legs and her horrified 4-year-old daughter watched on. 

The man – who has ongoing interim name suppression – was sentenced in the High Court in Hamilton on Wednesday for a single charge of murdering Ngawai Himiona on December 16, 2020. 

Justice Simon Moore sentenced the man to life in prison, with a minimum period of imprisonment of 17 years. 


Stuff: Woman killed by husband was punished for not being able to conceive, family says 

Family of an Indian woman who was killed by her husband believe he punished her for not being able to have children. 

Before Binderpal Kaur’s death she told family members she feared for her life. 

The pair’s relationship was volatile, marred by Beant Singh’s reported possessiveness, aggression, assertion of control and violence. 

Singh, 49, appeared at the High Court at Auckland on Friday where he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 10 years and six months behind bars, after he admitted killing Kaur at their rented home in Papatoetoe in September 2020. 


1 News: Social worker 'unethical' for sexual relationship with ex-client 

A social worker has been criticised by New Zealand's health watchdog for entering into a personal and sexual relationship with a former client. 

In a newly published report by Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Dr Vanessa Caldwell, it was found the social worker had breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights for failing to maintain proper boundaries. 

"The conduct of the social worker was unprofessional and unethical," Caldwell said. 


NZ Herald: Teens filmed sex acts with drunk underage girls, shared video with friends, Auckland court told 

Warning: Contains evidence of a sexual nature which some readers may find upsetting 

Two men who filmed sex acts on drunk girls and shared the video with their friends said they believed the underage victims were consenting at the time. 

But, looking back with maturity and the benefit of hindsight they have admitted they now realise the girls weren't capable of consent. 

The men, who were teenagers at the time but are now in their 20s and have name suppression, have each pleaded guilty to a representative charge of sex with a person under 16 and will be sentenced in December. 

Details of the offending, which happened in 2012 and 2013, have now been released and reveal the first victim contacted police in 2020 saying she was ready to give evidence. 


RNZ: Former Gloriavale woman says many girls in community sexually harassed 

Warning: This story discusses details of suicide and sexual abuse. 

A former Gloriavale member has told the court her treatment at the Christian community made her suicidal, during a harrowing testimony on Wednesday. 

Rose Standtrue is one of six women arguing that for the domestic work they did for years at Gloriavale, they should have been recognised as employees, not volunteers. 

Gloriavale's leaders deny the claims that the women were employees. 

Standtrue told the Christchurch Employment Court she, like many other girls, was groped and touched inappropriately. 

Standtrue, appearing by video link, sobbed when she admitted the abuse led her to contemplate ending her life. 


Stuff: Auckland man sentenced after online posts about wanting to rape a young girl 

An Auckland man who collected and shared images of children being sexually abused was caught after posting online that he was planning to rape a young girl. 

The 52-year-old was sentenced to home detention on Wednesday after he previously admitted charges of possessing child sexual abuse images, including one of a girl as young as 2. 

He also admitted sharing videos of girls being sexually abused and having indecent communications. 

The man chatted to girls as young as 8 online, convincing some of them to send him photos of themselves and responding with naked photos of himself. 


Stuff: Man who held machete to wife's neck escapes deportation 

A man who held a machete to his wife’s neck after becoming jealous over messages on her phone has escaped deportation. 

The 49-year-old Fijian citizen, who cannot be named, has been in New Zealand since 2017 on a work visa. 

In 2021, he was convicted of threatening behaviour and common assault. 

According to the agreed summary of facts, the man had become jealous after looking at his wife’s phone. 


Stuff: Almost five decades after assault, victim addresses his abuser in court 

Almost five decades after he assaulted a young relative, 88-year-old Bevan William Frost listened as his victim described a life changed forever. 

Frost stood in the dock as his relative, now in his late 50s, read his victim impact statement during a sentencing in Nelson District Court on Tuesday. 

“I trusted you and loved you,” the man said. “You hid your behaviour in plain sight. Your tickling, chasing games were fun. You betrayed that trust.” 

Frost had pleaded guilty to a representative charge of indecent assault, relating to two incidents in the 1970s. 


Stuff: 'No remorse' after slapping adopted daughter in church 

A woman who slapped her adopted daughter during a baptism in church has shown no remorse or care for the victim, a judge says. 

At the baptism of her adopted daughters' child on May 1, Matalena Sowman, 55, approached the victim at the front of a church on Howick Rd, before taking her baby from her, passing the baby to someone else, and slapping her across the face, a police summary said. 

Sowman admitted to a charge of assault on person in a family relationship at previous court hearing in June, and she appeared for sentencing at Blenheim District Court on Monday. 

Judge Jo Rielly said Sowman expressed “no insight, no remorse and no care for the victim, even now months later”. 


NZ Herald: Name suppression lapses for Jemma Taylor, PR manager accused of child sex abuse 

An Auckland woman who has held senior communications roles with St Cuthbert's College and the New Zealand Film Commission can now be identified as the defendant in an historical child sex abuse case. 

Name suppression lapsed today for Jemma Taylor, five months after the 37-year-old was first called to appear at Auckland District Court concerning three allegations she did indecent acts on a girl who was under 12 years old in 2012. 


Stuff: Parents sexually abused daughter for 7 years, turning her into a 'plaything' 

Warning: This story contains descriptions of physical and sexual abuse 

A girl who was plied with methamphetamine while being sexually abused by her parents for seven years says she still loves her mother, despite her role in the crimes. 

The girl instead pins the blame for what happened on her stepfather, who she says turned her into a “slave” and “plaything”. 

The offending could have gone on even longer, if it were not for a chance discovery made when a cellphone was taken to a repair shop. 


The Northern Advocate: Judge says he can feel Northland man's genuine remorse after he beat injured partner with her own crutch 

Joseph Martin had already left his partner unable to walk when he stomped on her ankle - and he inflicted further violence the next day when he beat her with a metal walking stick. 

The beating last November was so severe she suffered two broken fingers, extensive bruising, swelling and welts to her body, a large blood clot to her right ear and a gash to her foot that needed stitching. 

It has now resulted in yet another conviction for Martin, 47, who has an extensive criminal history. He already had at least 111 convictions when he was jailed in 2017 for being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter and attempting to pervert justice. 

Category: News Media