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Weekly Media Roundup

February 16, 2024 at 3:10 PM

RNZ: Concern over police plans to pull back from family harm callouts

Advocates say police's intentions to withdraw from family harm callouts will only cause more harm.

In a recent briefing to incoming Police Minister Mark Mitchell, the police department proposed a managed withdrawal from what it considered non-crime social problems.

Police said it had been forced to step in when it came to family harm, mental health, and child protection calls due to a lack of other social services.

But it said more than half of its family harm investigations did not involve an offence being recorded.

It proposed a change that would involve withdrawal from some of those callouts over time and advocating for that role to be filled by others.

But it was a proposal that has shocked those who advocate for victims.



RNZ: Advocates warn more resources needed if police pull back from mental heath callouts

Mental health advocates warn support services will need more investment to cope if police pull back from responding to mental health crisis callouts.

In a briefing to the police minister, the top brass outlined plans to "transition" from a police-led response for people in mental distress to a multi-agency approach within five years.

And Minister for Mental Health Matt Doocey on Monday floated the idea of having a specific mental health option when people call 111.



NZ Herald: Health bosses seeking solution as police look to change emergency response model

Health bosses are investigating how the response to mental health emergencies can be adapted as the Police Commissioner indicates he wants to reduce the time spent by officers on such callouts within the year.

Senior health officials told MPs on the Health Select Committee this morning that representatives from the health system and police were discussing how the response model for mental health emergencies could be adapted as police look likely to scale back their involvement to prioritise more fundamental policing activities.

The shift aligned with the new Government’s intention to see a return to “core policing with a back-to-basics approach”, as outlined in Police Minister Mark Mitchell’s letter of expectations to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, which included the aim to relieve police of responsibilities more appropriately taken on by other agencies.



1 News: Love and loss? How relationships can impact people's benefits

Welfare advocates are calling for an overhaul of relationship rules within the welfare system this Valentine’s Day.

It’s the season of celebrating love – but a coalition of welfare and child poverty action groups says matters of the heart can hold an extra layer of difficulty for beneficiaries.

This is because the current rules for assessing welfare entitlements can mean people’s payments are cut substantially if they are in a relationship, Fairer Future said.

The group said some people were hesitant to begin relationships for fear of losing income support and is calling on the Government to overhaul the rules.



Newshub: New women's refuge opens in Auckland on Valentine's Day to raise awareness of family violence

A new women's refuge was opened in Auckland on Wednesday, with the hope all women and children will be "safe, every day".

Read more…


NZ Herald: Youth mental health crisis: Auditor-General exposes vast gaps in Government response

An inquiry by the Auditor-General into how government agencies support the mental health needs of 12- to 24-year-olds has found that too many young people are missing out despite major investments in the sector. Alex Spence reports on the findings.

Read more…


NZ Herald: The Hidden Cost of Violence: Whanganui conference aims for better screening and care

An international conference in Whanganui linking traumatic brain injuries to interpersonal violence is calling for better screening and care for victims.

The Hidden Cost of Violence is being held next month, with 300 people expected to attend.

Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network co-ordinator Lorraine Sheenagh said the conference would raise public awareness and improve early intervention for victims.

She said a large number of women and children had been coming through the doors of community services with brain injuries caused by interpersonal violence — which included child abuse, intimate partner violence and family violence.



NZ Herald: Ending legal aid for cultural reports at sentencing could make court hearings longer, costlier

The Government’s move to remove legal aid funding for what are commonly known as cultural reports at sentencing has been wrapped up in rhetoric about restoring “personal responsibility”, reducing “discounts” or “reductions” on sentences, and saving money.

This may be popular, even populist, but it carries the risk of not achieving any of those purported goals. In fact, court hearings may become longer and more expensive.

To understand why, we need to look at the entire process of sentencing. It is governed by the Sentencing Act 2002, which requires judges to take into account many factors when considering a sentence.

Based on the facts of a case, judges must decide on the purpose of sentencing. For example, should it be for punishment, deterrence or rehabilitation?

Judges must also take into account various principles, including the seriousness of the offence, the defendant’s level of culpability, and any circumstances that make a sentence particularly severe.



Newshub: Unaffordable housing, wage inequality key issues facing NZ in State of the Nation 2024 report

The State of the Nation 2024 report has been released labelling the housing market and wage inequality as two of the biggest issues facing New Zealanders.

Read more…


Stuff: Father accused of murdering 8-month-old with repeated punches to stomach

Please note this story contains details that may upset some readers.

* 26-year-old man with interim name suppression is accused of killing his 8-month-old daughter.

* The baby died from complications of a perforated bowel, caused by blunt force trauma in May 2022.

* The trial, before Justice Laura O’Gorman and a jury, has been set down for four weeks.

A father initially told police he had no idea how his 8 month-old daughter received fatal abdominal injuries but a week later told detectives: “I thought giving her a hiding would end my anger”.



NZ Herald: Rotorua teen prostitution ring: Clayton Fox and and Wikitoria Pepene sentenced 

The pimp in a Rotorua teen prostitution ring who had sex with and arranged clients for girls aged 13 and 14 has been jailed for eight years and five months.

One of Clayton Fox’s victims told the court she endured years of “self-hatred and disgust” as well as mental illness and panic attacks.


Category: News Media