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Weekly Media Roundup

May 03, 2024 at 3:21 PM

University of Auckland: Time to treat stalking as deadly crime

Unlike many other countries, Aotearoa lacks a provision in the Crimes Act criminalising stalking, Associate Professor Carrie Leonetti says this needs to change.

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Newsroom: Can social investment shift the dial on welfare and wellbeing?

The Government has promised that social investment will underpin its approach to the funding and delivery of social services. Emma Hatton speaks to those for and against the idea

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Stuff: Waitangi Tribunal warns Government’s Oranga Tamariki policy will cause harm

The Waitangi Tribunal has issued a scathing report, saying the Government is acting without evidence and could cause harm through its plan to remove Treaty obligations from the Oranga Tamariki Act.

In a few weeks, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour is expected to introduce a bill which will repeal Section 7AA of the Act.

In a report issued Monday afternoon, the Tribunal called the change “arbitrary” which “will cause actual harm”.

The Tribunal’s investigation has been filled with controversy, leading to a legal back and forth after Children’s Minister Karen Chhour refused to be questioned about why she wanted to repeal Section 7AA.

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NZ Herald: State abuse survivor urges against repealing Oranga Tamariki Treaty commitments

The Government is being accused of turning its back on Māori survivors of abuse in state care, as it looks to strip te Tiriti from the Oranga Tamariki Act.

One survivor told Newstalk ZB the legislation set to be repealed is deeply important, as it’s the only law that prioritises the whakapapa of children in care.

“Whānau means more than mum, dad and uncles – we have a wider hapū and iwi. There is no way the state can turn around and say there is no one safe enough to look after these children.”

An urgent Waitangi Tribunal inquiry is under way into the repeal of Section 7AA, which sets down the Ministry for Children’s duty to improve outcomes for tamariki Māori.

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RNZ: Does NZ need mandatory child abuse reporting?

Any moves to make reporting of suspected child abuse mandatory should be treated with caution, says a group that helps train people in how to identify such harm.

Earlier this month Act leader and associate education minister David Seymour announced changes to the early childhood education sector. 

He signalled plans to introduce mandatory child abuse reporting, while noting no firm decision had been made.

New Zealand's awful history with child abuse is well documented, and mandatory reporting was a recommendation of a 2023 report by Dame Karen Poutasi prompted by the death of five-year-old Malachi Subecz.

However she also noted the reporting should go hand in hand with regular training for frontline professionals who work with children.

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NZ Herald: Dumping Children’s Commission-Mana Mokopuna Board a step backwards – Labour

The scrapping of the five-member Children and Young People’s Commission-Mana Mokopuna, and returning to a single children’s commissioner is another step backwards, says Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime.

Employment and Social Development Minister Louise Upston says getting rid of the board was in line with National’s coalition agreement with Act.

The change will be introduced this year. Labour has criticised the move and called out under pressure Children’s Minister Karen Chhour.

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RNZ: Social worker says Pacific men misinterpreting the Bible to justify domestic violence

There is concern over Bible verses being misinterpreted by some Pacific men to justify domestic violence, a Samoan-Chinese social worker says.

Genevieve Sang-Yum, a lecturer in social work at Unitec's Waitakere campus, runs programmes focused on helping Māori and Pacific men break cycles of violence in New Zealand.

She has also provided cultural supervision for social workers, including seven years of service with Women's Refuge.

Sang-Yum noticed an increase in the number of Pacific males coming through her programme who believed it was "normal to control or hit" their partners, she told RNZ Pacific.

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Newsroom: Breaking barriers on sexual assault figures

Two #MeToo campaigners are about to introduce a new reporting system for sexual assault survivors they hope will turn around shocking figures around this crime.

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RNZ: Increase in reports of online child exploitation

Reports of sextortion, and child sexual abuse being posted online and sent via private messages are on the rise.

Police say in 2023 New Zealand authorities received 19,865 referrals from the Cyber Tipline - run by US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

This was nearly 5000 more than in 2022.

"Reports from NCMEC which contain information about victims and online offenders here in New Zealand have almost quadrupled in the last five years alone," the officer in charge of the police online child explotation team, Detective Senior Sergeant Kepal Richards, said.

"These latest statistics unfortunately are not surprising, but should be cause for increased concern."

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RNZ: Child exploitation cases will increase by thousands every year if no action taken – expert

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Newshub: Three strikes law: Lawyers say repeat offenders 'need help not punishment'

Lawyers are strongly opposing the Government's plan to bring back a revised version of the controversial three-strikes law. 

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The Guardian: We won’t stop violence against women with conversations about respect. This is not working. We need to get real

Victims and their families are at their wits’ end. We owe it to them to throw everything at this national crisis

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1 News: Australia in a 'crisis' of male violence, says Attorney-General

Australian Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has called on men in his country to "step up" and stamp out attacks on women.

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1 News: Aus govt to set aside $1b to help women escape domestic violence

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RNZ: Sydney stabbing: Bondi attack on women devastates Australia

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1 News: Albanese calls Cabinet meeting to tackle violence against women

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Stuff: Father jailed for callous murder of vulnerable 8-month-old daughter

  • A 24-year-old father was found guilty of killing his 8-month-old daughter and previously assaulting her.
  • He told police he’d never bonded with his daughter and was angry because she started crying.
  • The baby died from complications of a perforated bowel, caused by blunt force trauma in May 2022.

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may upset readers.

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NZ Herald: Christchurch man Jacob Waa jailed for ‘merciless’ beatings of teen partner

WARNING: This article discusses serious domestic violence and may be distressing.

“You should have a big sign around your neck saying dangerous.”

That’s what a judge told a violent abuser who beat his teenage partner so often, including whipping her with an extension cord and intentionally breaking her bones, that she is now left with half a paralysed face.

The teen became so normalised to Jacob Waa’s brutal beatings, which he called “conditioning”, that doctors were surprised at how responsive she was after an incident that left her with a brain bleed.

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Stuff: Father killed his 3-month-old daughter, but was it murder?

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may upset readers.

A father who killed his 3-month-old child says he is guilty of manslaughter by shaking her, but denies murder.

Michael John Topp’s baby daughter was rushed to Christchurch Hospital shortly before midday on New Year’s Eve 2021 with serious injuries, but died two days later.

She died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. An autopsy found she had also suffered 31 fractures to both legs and her ribs.

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Stuff: Man admits attempted murder of 11-year-old family member

  • Police found a 11-year-old girl with a serious wound to her neck at 3.40am on December 4, 2022.
  • A family member, 52, was subsequently charged with attempted murder and was set to go to trial in June.
  • He will now be sentenced in June for the charge of attempted murder and kidnapping.

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may upset readers.

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RNZ: Family Court grants custody of kids to recovering alcoholic mum rather than ‘gaslighting’ dad

A recovering alcoholic has won custody of her two children after the Family Court found the father subjected his ex-wife to an "onslaught of emotional and psychological abuse".

After separating in 2021, the couple initially had a shared parenting arrangement.

But, according to a decision released this week, matters came to a head in March 2022 when the father claimed the mother had relapsed and started drinking again.

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NZ Herald: Jealous ex-boyfriend jailed for violent attack at Northland campsite

WARNING: This article discusses domestic abuse and may be upsetting to some readers.

“Women, Mr Bracey, are not chattels. Girlfriends and partners are not chattels.”

“You do not have a right to them. You have no right to try and physically control others and you have no right to limit who they choose to have relations with.”

Those were the strong words delivered by a judge as he sentenced a man to eight years in prison for a vicious late-night attack while his ex-girlfriend and her new partner were camping at a remote beach.

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Category: News Media