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Weekly Media Roundup

November 11, 2022 at 3:56 PM

Stuff: 'It feels like your child has died': Mum says she feels powerless to help teen son who continues to offend 

Young people involved in ramraids, car thefts and street fights have renewed public debate on youth crime and how to address it. Is our youth justice system geared to effectively tackle the problem? MARINÉ LOURENS reports. 


1 News: Petition calls to end practice of child uplifts in custody battles 

A collective of families is calling for the repeal of parts of the Care of Children Act that it says "dehumanises a child" in allowing forceable uplifts during custody battles. 

Known as Humans of Family Court Aotearoa, the group's lodged a petition at parliament calling for the repeal of sections 72 and 73 of the Care of Children Act 2004, so that warrants allowing social workers and police to uplift children can not be issued. 

Spokeswoman Jody Hopkinson says the practice is "barbaric and outdated" and there should be better ways of enforcing custody arrangements. "We have to lift the bar so that custody orders are stuck to," she says. "That [custody agreements] are individualised to suit each arrangement rather than a cookie-cutter approach." 


Stuff: 'Don't go back there': Murder victim didn't heed mother's warning about his girlfriend 

The day after her son’s 40th birthday, Christine Watene warned him to stay away from a woman with whom he’d shared a turbulent six-month relationship. 

Dale Watene had recently been thrown out, drunk, from Sandy Graham’s home in Otautau in western Southland and barred from returning for five days by police. The pair often argued when alcohol was involved. 

“Don’t go back there,” Christine Watene said to her son during the phone call. “You’re not good for each other.” Dale Watene assured his Waikato-based mother he wouldn’t. 

But he did, and later that day – April 16, 2020 – Graham shot him in the head during an argument at her home. She then tried to cover up what she’d done – enlisting the help of her best friend, George Hyde, to bury her boyfriend’s body in a shallow grave, deep in a forest. 


Stuff: Protection orders: Pointless pieces of paper that are no protection at all 

OPINION: Right now I have in my possession a piece of paper apparently meaning nothing. 

It’s actually five pieces of paper, to be fair, and I have physical copies as well as ones on my computer and phone ready to be retrieved at a moment’s notice. 

Every page carries an official red stamp and a lot of legal language. The first page contains a list of names and numbers; the second, a host of conditions. The third page is all orders and directions, while the fourth is taken up by a roll of consequences. Those consequences spill over onto the fifth page and end with a warning of jail or fines. 

It’s all solemn and reassuring stuff on paper, though in reality is anything but. These five pages make up a protection order issued by the District Court of New Zealand and don’t mean much at all. 


RNZ: Abuse in Care Inquiry: Survivor condemns lack of 'genuine repentance' from churches in final hearing 

A survivor of abuse says churches have missed a golden opportunity to really reflect on how Aotearoa-New Zealand came to have such an appalling record of abuse of people in care. 

Faith-based organisations were given a chance to respond at the recent final public hearing of the Royal Commission in to Abuse in care. 

Jacinda Thompson suffered sexual harassment by her Anglican minister in the early 2000's, and she has given evidence to the inquiry. 

She said that while abuse itself was condemned, most church leaders failed to accept responsibility for allowing it to flourish in the first place. 


Stuff: Moana appeal dismissed: Young Māori girl can stay with Pākehā caregivers 

A Pākehā couple who adopted a young Māori girl can continue to care for her after the High Court dismissed an appeal made by the girl’s mother, which was supported by Oranga Tamariki. 

Justice Helen Cull delivered her decision on the ‘Moana’ case appeal on Wednesday after a hearing in the High Court at Wellington in August. 


Stuff: Teen appears in court charged with murder of 30-year-old in Wattle Downs 

A 19-year-old charged with murder after a 30-year-old died in south Auckland has appeared in court and will go to trial in 2024. 

The 30-year-old died just before midnight on October 23 in what police previously said was a “family harm incident”. He still cannot be named. 


RNZ: No deadline for phasing out motel emergency accommodation 

The government cannot give a deadline for phasing out emergency motel accommodation, but the Social Development Minister told Checkpoint she would reveal the results of a review and redesign by the end of the year. 

A "bloody fiasco", a "failed govt experiment", and "tantamount to child abuse" - some of the descriptions of the accommodation. 

Resource consent is being sought for 13 Rotorua motels to keep operating as emergency housing for another five years. 


Stuff: Auckland man to be deported after sexually abusing nieces 

A man who sexually abused his nieces a year after being granted a resident visa will be deported. 

The Auckland man, who was not named in a recently released decision from the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, arrived in New Zealand from Tonga in 1999 and was granted a resident visa in July 2005. 

A year after obtaining his visa, he began to indecently assault two of his nieces. 

He was later imprisoned for two years and two months on three counts of an indecent act on a young person under 12 years old and one count of an indecent act on a female aged 12 to 16. 


NZ Herald: Victim’s grace acknowledged by judge after “dreadful assault” in which she was punched, kicked and strangled 

Ewan Reardon subjected the mother of his infant daughter to a two-hour assault, including trying to strangle her, after she arrived home to find him asleep on the couch and the house full of smoke. 

A cooking pot had been left on the stove but Reardon fell asleep while caring for the couple’s baby girl. 

It was May this year, and the events which followed the initial and then a subsequent assault, have left Reardon’s now former partner struggling to cope, both emotionally and from a practical sense in her newfound role as a single parent. 

Category: News Media