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Weekly Media Roundup

December 09, 2022 at 4:11 PM

Stuff: Would mandatory child abuse reporting have saved Malachi?

The call for mandatory child abuse reporting has split those who work in the field, with some pushing for urgent change to protect abused and neglected children, while others fear it will needlessly pull Māori families into child protection services and swamp the system.

An investigation into how government departments could have intervened to prevent 5-year-old Malachi Subecz’s murder at the hands of his caregiver, released on Thursday, is the latest critical report on the child protection system, including from the Waitangi Tribunal. Mandatory reporting was one of 14 recommendations, and one which the Government said it will carefully look at, but hasn’t accepted.

Universrity of Otago associate professor Emily Keddell ​said mandatory reporting was a knee-jerk reaction because reports were made about Malachi’s welfare, they just were not acted on.



RNZ: Educational groups at odds over mandatory reporting of child abuse



RNZ: Suspected abuse: Advocates demand meaningful implementation of mandatory reporting



Newsroom: Child protection must not return to punitive, racist approaches



Stuff: Care of disabled people a 'catastrophic failure', report finds

The state made a “catastrophic failure” of caring for disabled people, according to a report released by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Sixteen survivor stories detailing abuse and neglect between 1950 and 1999 have been detailed in the Tell Me About You report, released exclusively to Stuff ahead of publication, prepared by the Donald Beasley Institute.

However, recent incidents show abuse and neglect of disabled people still occurs today.

Survivor Matthew Whiting shared his experiences of abuse in state care at the Royal Commission’s public hearing and also helped guide the research, alongside a group of mainly people with lived experience.



Stuff: 'What we did to disabled children and their families was beyond wrong'



RNZ: 'Repeated and catastrophic failure', Abuse in Care commissioner says as study published



RNZ: Abuse in care inquiry: Victims distressed as wait for compensation drags on

Survivors of abuse in state care are frustrated they are yet to receive compensation a year after a Royal Commission recommended the immediate introduction of an interim redress scheme.

One former patient of the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital's child and adolescent unit said she felt like officials were ignoring and stonewalling survivors.

However, a government official said an announcement about a scheme was expected soon.




RNZ: Oranga Tamariki taken to task over lack of controls, understanding of spending

Documents show Oranga Tamariki has been stumbling towards budget blowouts with loose and patchy financial controls.

Its shortcomings in protecting children have been the subject of more than a dozen inquiries, the most recent last week finding five gaps had contributed to the brutal death of five-year-old Malachi Subecz.

But at the same time, a series of unheralded but also scathing financial reviews of the agency have been unmasking - internally at least - many major basic failings.



1 News: Calls for mandatory consent education in schools

Students in Christchurch are pushing for New Zealand to follow Australia's lead and make consent education mandatory in schools.

A programme's been run at Christchurch Girls' High School after a survey last year found more than a quarter of students had been sexually harassed.

The survey also found 20 students had allegedly been raped.

Head prefect Hawwa Niyaz said the school has been trying to make it easier to tackle the difficult subject by getting senior students to work with their peers.



RNZ: Scope of revenge porn law too narrow, no care offered to victims – advocate

Campaigners against online revenge porn are demanding law changes, saying the current legislation is still unfit for purpose.

The Harmful Digital Communications Act was amended in March so victims no longer need to prove the person who posted the explicit images of them intended to cause harm.



Scoop: Women With Pets Sleeping In Their Cars To Escape Domestic Violence

Press Release: Pet Refuge

Pet Refuge is receiving an increasing number of calls from women sleeping in cars to keep their beloved pets safe, after fleeing domestic violence.

The Refuge receives calls for help daily, and in the past two weeks these have included a woman with four dogs, another with two dogs and another with one dog, all sleeping in their cars to protect their pets’ lives. They were desperate to keep their animals safe but couldn’t find a secure place that would accept pets, so Pet Refuge was able to offer support. This has renewed the charity’s fear for the safety of women and their pets this Christmas as the charity relies on donations to keep saying yes to pets and their families.



Newsroom: Rinse, ram raid and repeat – politicians lack the courage of their criminal convictions

Every decade a minister of justice tries to understand the roots of crime in New Zealand, and every decade we keep getting nowhere. Lianne Dalziel asks where we're going wrong.



NZ Herald: Alcohol availability slowly decreasing while measures of harm appear to increase

The volume of alcohol available to drink in New Zealand has slowly decreased over time, according to new Stats NZ data. However, additional analysis by other agencies shows some measures of recorded harm connected to drinking in New Zealand appear to be increasing.

Analysis by the Herald of Stats NZ’s latest data on alcohol available for consumption shows there is 12.3 per cent fewer litres of alcohol available per adult in New Zealand today than there was around a decade ago.

Despite this, separate analysis by the New Zealand Drug Foundation and a US university show that instances of alcohol overdose deaths and alcohol use disorder in New Zealand have increased.

Read more…


Stuff: Lesley Elliott: The mother who turned unspeakable grief into Action

OBITUARY: As a mother, Lesley Elliott knew the unimaginable grief of losing a child – but she was able to look beyond the grave and “turn the sharpness of grief into action”.

With these words, the anti-domestic-violence campaigner’s memory was honoured at a memorial service held on November 25 in Dunedin.

Lesley Frances Elliott​ died on November 20​ at Ross Home at the age of 76 after a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

While Elliott was a much-loved wife, mother, sister and daughter, to the public she was mostly known for the groundbreaking work she did in combating domestic violence after the death of her 22-year-old daughter, Sophie.



The Spinoff: The cost of living crisis is hitting Pasifika parents the hardest

A nationwide parenting survey has revealed confronting statistics about Pasifika parents struggling under cost of living stress, but community leaders on the ground say, ‘no shit, Sherlock’.



Stuff: Industrial action at Ministry of Justice putting the brakes on justice

Industrial action by court staff is starting to put a pinch on the administration of justice – something a union says is necessary to raise pay rates at the ministry with the lowest pay in the public sector.

Ministry of Justice staff, who belong to the Public Service Association, are in the midst of industrial action currently scheduled to last until December 19.

Staff are working to rule, which usually involves doing no overtime and being strict about break times.



Stuff: Last-minute change of heart sees immigration minister delay major partner visa policy

Immigration Minister Michael Wood has had second thoughts about whether to stop automatically issuing work visas to partners of work visa holders.

In May, when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi unveiled the “immigration rebalance”, they announced a significant winding back of partner work visas. The change was scheduled to kick in from the beginning of this month.

Five days after the new rules were expected to have started, Wood issued a statement saying he would delay the change until April.

He said he had heard concerns about how the policy would affect “vulnerable individuals”, and had asked for more policy work to be done.



Newsroom: Wood postpones partner work visa changes until Easter



RNZ: Rhythm & Vines face backlash over decision to keep convicted rapper Dizzee Rascal in line-up

Organisers for Gisborne music festival Rhythm & Vines say artist Dizzee Rascal will remain in this year's line-up, despite a conviction for domestic violence.

Earlier this year, the English rapper, whose real name is Dylan Mills, was handed down a 12-month restraining order and a curfew for assaulting his ex-partner.

He has been booked at several festivals this summer in New Zealand.

Last week, in an interview for Stuff, Rhythm & Vines co-founder and director Hamish Pinkham said the artist had "done the crime, done the time and now it's time to do the grime", referring to the music genre that the British artist performs.

In a statement sent to media today, Rhythm & Vines apologised for its co-founder's speech.



Stuff: Women's Refuge and other advocacy groups call for Rhythm and Vines to drop Dizzee Rascal



Newshub: Details emerge of major multi-agency investigation into alleged child exploitation at Zirka Circus

Newshub can reveal details of a major multi-agency investigation into alleged child exploitation, which resulted in six young circus acrobats being uplifted and returned to their parents in China.



Newshub: Immigration Minister Michael Wood calls for visa rules investigation after alleged child exploitation at Zirka Circus revealed



NZ Herald: Child suffers serious neck injuries after family harm incident, 54-year-old man arrested

A 54-year-old man has been arrested and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after a child suffered serious neck injuries in a family harm incident early this morning, police say.

Detective inspector Karen Bright said emergency services were called to the incident in the Auckland suburb of Rosehill around 3.40am.

The child had “a serious wound to their neck”, she said.

In a statement this evening, police confirmed an arrest had been made in connection with the incident.



Stuff: Man jailed for sexually abusing boy set to launch multiple appeals

A man jailed for sexually abusing a boy is likely to appeal his convictions, jail sentence and a ruling declining him name suppression.

Despite being declined name suppression by Judge Bruce Northwood​, the offender cannot be named as an appeal could be made.

The man was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on Friday to six years and five months’ prison for multiple sexual offences against a boy.



Stuff: Jail term reduced for man who tried to buy girl on dark web under username 'Kiwipedo'

An Auckland man jailed after he tried to buy a girl under the age of 7, to sexually abuse her, has had his time behind bars reduced because of disputed facts.

Aaron Joseph Hutton hid behind the profile name ‘Kiwipedo’ on the secretive dark web, where he traded images of children being sexually abused and then tried to buy a girl.

The court heard Hutton still claims he was “trolling the authorities”.

On Wednesday, he appeared at the Auckland District Court where Judge David Sharp resentenced him to three years and two months imprisonment.



NZ Herald: Principal sexual assault trial: Auckland jury finds Joe Moncarz guilty of abusing student

The former principal of a rural South Auckland nature-themed private school has been found guilty by a jury of sexually abusing a young student.

Jurors took about four hours to reach the verdicts for Joseph Jacob Moncarz, 51, who was known as “Joey” to students at the Deep Green Bush School in Clevedon where he also served as head teacher. The school, which he helped establish and once promoted through extensive media interviews in New Zealand and abroad, is no longer in operation.

After the verdict, Judge Nick Webby ordered Moncarz, who had previously been on bail, to be held in custody to await sentencing.



NZ Herald: Teen arrested after alleged sexual assault in Christchurch

A 17-year-old allegedly sexually violated a young woman and unlawfully took her away without her consent in Christchurch.

The alleged incident took place near the alleyway to Sugden St, Barrington Park about 9pm on Saturday.

On Wednesday evening police arrested a 17-year-old male.


Category: News Media