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Weekly Media Roundup

December 08, 2023 at 2:01 PM

Stuff: Iwi to fight 'Crown stupidity' repeal of Oranga Tamariki legislation

Waikato-Tainui will “use every means possible to fight” for its tamariki if the new Government goes ahead with its plan to remove Oranga Tamariki legislation reconnecting Māori children with their whānau.

The new coalition Government announced it will remove Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 – introduced in 2019 after the controversial uplifts of pēpi Māori brought scandal to the agency – that seeks to ensure its commitment to Treaty of Waitangi obligations and prioritising the whakapapa of children in its care.

Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad also says she is concerned about the consequences of the proposed repeal, which was “intentionally included by the previous National Government” following six different inquiries calling for change.

But incoming Minister for Children Karen Chhour has defended the repeal, saying it “creates a conflict between protecting the best interests of the child and race-based factors enshrined in 7AA” that could cause harm to children.

Read more…


Stuff: Baby Ru's death the second child homicide suffered by extended whānau

Warning: Some readers may find this story upsetting. It contains details about violence towards children.

Breaking intergenerational violence is the centre of debate, again, after the death of Baby Ru. Nadine Roberts reveals how this isn’t the first child homicide suffered by Ru’s extended whānau and investigates why keeping some children safe continues to be such a problem in New Zealand.

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NZ Herald: Ruthless-Empire homicide: Family reveal extent of toddler’s injuries


Slain toddler Baby Ru suffered a broken skull as a result of blunt force trauma, his family allege.

On October 22 Ruthless-Empire Souljah Reign Rhind Shephard Wall died after arriving at Hutt Hospital unresponsive with severe head injuries.

The toddler, now known as Nga Reo Te Huatahi Reremoana Ahipene-Wall, was living at a home in the Lower Hutt suburb of Taitā with his mother Storm WallRosie Morunga, and her partner Dylan Ross.

The Herald can now reveal Baby Ru’s family claim they were told by police he suffered a broken skull.

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NZ Herald: Removing and replacing relationship education a step backwards in ending sexual violence, say experts

The new Government has taken a step backwards from ending sexual violence with its plan to remove and replace relationship-based education, according to experts.

As part of the coalition deal between National, Act and New Zealand First, the Government intends to refocus the curriculum on academic achievement, including the removal and replacement of the gender sexuality and relationship-based education guidelines.

Sexual harm prevention expert Russell Smith says removing relationship-based education, including consent education, could be devastating.

Read more… The government hopes private investors will fund social services – the evidence isn’t so optimistic

It was scarcely mentioned during the election campaign, but we will undoubtedly be hearing more about “social investment”.

As the National Party’s election platform stated, it will be the “organising framework” for funding and delivering social services. The finance minister, Nicola Willis – who is also public service minister and minister for social investment – will be central to delivering on the policy.

At its core, social investment is about the “productive” potential of public spending on social programmes – spending that yields gains in the future, rather than simply supporting consumption or remedying problems in the present.

But it’s also a policy from the past, with National promising to “bring the social investment approach back to life”. It is resuscitating work started under the previous National government led by the then prime minister John Key and finance minister Bill English.

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Newsroom: The ‘troubled-teen’ industry and conflicts of interest in Family Court

Opinion: Courts are halls of justice, but they are also well-financed institutional purchasers of goods and services, outsourcing much of their work to private consultants and contractors, including lawyers, advocates, psychologists, social workers, and drug counsellors who earn their living from court contracts.

Though there is nothing inherently wrong with courts privatising some services, the size and volume of these contracts create perverse financial incentives and conflicts of interest.

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RNZ: 'It is my responsibility to speak out on injustices': Whaea to homeless Michelle Kidd retires

She checks on homeless people in doorways on her way to work and responds to texts for help in the dead of night - after 31 years as a social worker at the Auckland District Court, Michelle Kidd QSM is retiring.

Now 72, she helped set up therapeutic courts that give people the tools to restore relationships, and gain stable housing and employment.

Known as 'whaea' to the homeless and judges alike, she is a friendly face in an often daunting justice system, where she sits alongside those facing charges.

Kidd used to check in on rough sleepers on her way to work but is handing over that baton.

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NZ Herald: Protecting kids online: A guide for parents on conversations about ‘sextortion’

Warning: mention of suicide and sextortion

Sadly, a 12-year-old child in British Columbia, Canada, died by suicide following a case of online sextortion.

The child’s grieving parents are passionately urging families to talk to their children about the dangers of online predators in the hopes that other children can be safeguarded against online risks.

Sexual extortion, or “sextortion,” occurs when an individual is coerced into providing money or sexual images by threatening to release sexual or nude photos or videos of them online.

Many sextortion cases occur within existing relationships with peers, romantic partners or adults. However, in some cases, predators unknown to the child groom them into sharing intimate pictures or videos, later weaponising them for blackmail.

Read more…


Newshub: Fears mainstream teachers will not cope as acclaimed Kauri Centre for troubled youth closes

A school in Waikato for some of the country’s highest-risk youth will close next week, prompting fears troubled youngsters and ram raiders will end up back on the streets.

Eleven children aged 9-16 attend the Hamilton school. Many are victims of sexual abuse, have foetal alcohol syndrome, or in one case have been forced to take drugs from the age of nine for the entertainment of family members.

Last year, Newshub alerted the Education Minister Jan Tinetti that her Ministry was shutting down the highly acclaimed Kauri Centre.

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NZ Herald: Students protest Long Bay College ‘sexist’ uniform policy, parents seeking legal advice

A group of about 20 Long Bay College students and parents have gathered in protest amid a stoush over uniform compliance.

Parents of female students at the North Shore school have laid complaints with the Board of Trustees after some students said they felt humiliated after being told to prove their skirts weren’t rolled at the waistband to shorten them.

Principal CJ Healy and a number of the school’s deans have been pacing up and down opposite the protest.

Healy was seen stopping traffic to walk a large group of students across the main road to avoid the protest. He’s not interacted with the students protesting.

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RNZ: Woman vindicated after High Court rules Family Court judge made mistakes

The High Court has found a judge "effectively teamed up" with the lawyers of an ex-husband to strip a woman of her property rights and force her to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs.

The woman - known as Mrs P, her real name permanently suppressed - was ruled against in 2015 by Family Court Judge Peter Callinicos after the couple's separation agreement landed in court.

P was from a well-known Gisborne farming family, and Mrs P was a teacher from Hawke's Bay. They were married some 16 years, and when they separated, their relationship property included a farm and multiple houses.

Judge Callinicos ruled in her ex-husband's favour - but the repercussions went further than that. As well as losing her rights to the marital property, Mrs P was forced to serve a sentence of nine months' home detention for perjury (only to have the conviction later overturned), ordered to pay $250,000 in costs and declared bankrupt.

At the heart of the perjury decision was Judge Callinicos' assertion that she was lying about being abused by P.

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Newshub: Retirement home slammed after claiming elderly woman's year-long physical abuse was self-harm

The Aged Care Commissioner has slammed a care home provider after an elderly woman with dementia was physically abused for more than a year by fellow residents.

Despite having 'grab mark' bruising and puncture wounds, the aged care home said her injuries were a result of self-harm. 

However, an investigation has found that was not the case and the Ultimate Care Group (UCG), which runs the aged care home, was in breach of multiple rights of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

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RNZ: 'Violence against women remains rife': Decades of activism have failed to stem gender violence

Analysis - Decades since the Global 16 Days Campaign began, violence against women remains rife - and a significant barrier to achieving true gender equality,

For 16 days each year since 1991, gender equality activists have marked a global campaign aimed at tackling gender-based violence.

But more than three decades since activists founded the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, violence against women and girls remains a widespread global issue - and a significant barrier to achieving true gender equality.

As global conflicts including the Israel-Hamas war dominate headlines, conflict-related sexual violence remains widespread across the globe.

Domestic and intimate partner violence also remains rife, despite being outlawed in at least 155 countries.

It's clear that despite some wins in recent years, including the #MeToo movement, violence against women and girls persists across the world - ranging from sex trafficking and marital rape to child marriage and child sexual abuse.

Almost one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner, and this figure does not include sexual harassment.

Read more…

Category: News Media