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Weekly Media Roundup

March 01, 2024 at 12:27 PM

Newsroom: What do we mean when we say ‘family violence’?

Carrie Leonetti explains why lumping violent and sexual crime in with domestic arguments and mental health crises under the umbrella term ‘family harm’ is misleading and hinders how police respond

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The Spinoff: Did we just decriminalise family violence? 

Police recently proposed a ‘managed withdrawal’ from family harm callouts. Critics say they’re washing their hands of the problem. 

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RNZ: Care and protection, or containment and punishment? How state care fails NZ’s most vulnerable young people

Recent reports by the Chief Ombudsman, the Independent Children's Monitor and the Auditor General have detailed the grim state of affairs for children and whānau in Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) care.

The ombudsman called for "change on a scale rarely required of a government agency", and said Oranga Tamariki has lost the public's trust.

He highlighted the story of a young person who spent years in a secure "care and protection" residence. He also acknowledged the harmful effects of residential care on young people.

Care and protection residences provide a secure living environment for children aged 12-16, when it is considered unsafe for them to live at home or in their community. The ombudsman said these sorts of facilities should only be used as a last resort for the shortest time possible.

But care and protection residences are increasingly being used as a default solution for young people with the most complex needs. What needs to change to ensure they become a therapeutic safe space for children in need, rather than a dumping ground for "bad kids"?

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RNZ: Oranga Tamariki defends staff: 'They do everything they can to make a difference'

The head of Oranga Tamariki (OT) says he has confidence in his staff - even if the public does not.

The Chief Ombudsman found the agency is failing on almost every level, in a scathing report released last week.

Speaking at Oranga Tamariki's annual Parliamentary review on Monday, chief executive Chappie Te Kani said he still had confidence in his staff.

"They get out of bed each day to come to work to do everything they can to make a difference for those kids.

"While our reputation of Oranga Tamariki may not give the public confidence, I am confident in our people."

Te Kani told MPs even if OT was a "high performing agency enjoying the trust and confidence of New Zealanders", child abuse would still exist.

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E-Tangata: Whāngai can help fix the foster care system

Māori children disproportionately suffer from deficiencies in New Zealand’s broken foster care system, and the government’s proposed repeals threaten to cause further harm, writes Taryn Dryfhout.

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NZ Herald: Henderson murder: Colin Rameka jailed for at least 13 years for shooting ex-partner dead in front of their son

An Auckland man who shot and killed his former partner in front of their young son was described as cowardly and barbaric as he was sentenced to life with a minimum non-parole period of just over 13 years for her murder.

Colin Rameka, 36, appeared for sentence in the High Court at Auckland before Justice Neil Campbell on Tuesday after a jury found him guilty of murdering Aitasi Carmella Hohenberger in Henderson on July 12, 2022.

Hohenberger, known as “Cammie”, was described by her family as a devoted mother.

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Stuff: Mother sentenced after failing to protect Arapera Fia, 2, from being killed

  • Toddler, Arapera Fia, died in November 2021 after being found with critical injuries.
  • Her mother’s then partner, Tyson Brown, was found guilty of Arapera’s murder and is serving a life sentence.
  • Arapera’s mother, Nikitalove Brampton Tekotia, pleaded guilty to manslaughter ahead of trial and has now been sentenced to 12 months’ home detention.

This story contains details some readers may find upsetting.

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NZ Herald: Jean Salter murder: Bay of Plenty man jailed for strangling wife in Bayswater retirement village

Warning: This story mentions suicide.

An 80-year-old man who strangled his beloved wife with a necktie in a failed suicide pact has been jailed – but a judge has ruled it would go “too far” to impose the standard minimum of 10 years.

John Salter was struck by the ill-health of his wife of 60 years with Alzheimer’s, and after being approached by a staff member at their Mount Maunganui rest home about Jean’s “dangerous wandering behaviour”, he became concerned.

He began talking with his wife about a suicide pact; however, she would often forget when reminded.

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Category: News Media