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NZ Research & Commentary
Some child abuse cases in NZ - since Section 59 amended

Since the passing of the amendment to section 59, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases including:

June 2007

* Porirua mum and step-father charged with mistreating 3 children, including 5 year old admitted to Wellington Hospital with serious head injuries

* 16 month old Remuera boy dies after beating while in care of relative. Sixteen-month-old Sachin died of head injuries suffered while being cared for by a relative in June. He spent three days connected to a life- support machine in Auckland's Starship children's hospital, before dying on June 21. An autopsy revealed he died from blunt force trauma to his head. and

* 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown.

* Death of 22 month old Tokoroa girl from severe burns – being cared for by step-father. Claims was burnt in hot shower but 17 hour delay before arriving at hospital. Still under investigation.

*An 18-month-old West Auckland toddler is in hospital with serious arm and leg injuries suffered on separate occasions and up to a month before medical treatment was sought.

*Dad allegedly made girls fight for right not to be beaten. A Hastings father gave his daughters boxing gloves and told them to fight – with the loser to get "a hiding", a court was told. The sisters, aged 11 and 13, donned the red gloves and began punching each other in the lounge till the oldest started crying.

July 2007

* Hawkes Bay father shoots daughter with air rifle. Convicted and jailed for 6 months

* Christchurch mum-of-two found at P Lab. Charged with failing to provide necessaries of life and allowing home to be used for manufacturing P

* 3-year-old Rotorua girl seriously ill after 3 weeks of abuse by stepfather and extended family - now died

* A second Rotorua child - a 12-week-old baby - is in the Starship with suspicious head injuries.

*Boy, 8, kicked for being 'too slow' eating dinner

*Five-year-old high on P in drug house. Police found a five-year-old boy high on P during a raid on a drug house where methamphetamine was being cooked in a bedroom.

August 2007

* Police will tomorrow arrest a Putaruru man for allegedly using weapons to beat his two stepsons aged 13 and 14, regularly over nine months, leaving them with bruises all over their upper body.

* A five-week-old girl with multiple breaks to both arms is the latest suspected child-abuse case being investigated by Christchurch police.

*A woman accused of failing to provide the necessaries of life to her 6-week-old baby has pleaded with a court to get the child back.... She has been charged with neglecting her legal duty to provide necessaries for her 6-week-old son in a way that endangered his life....Police said they had been told Kahotea-Jones took the baby to the park on an extremely cold winter's day dressed only in light clothing.

*Throwing pepper in a six-year-old boy's eyes as a punishment was an unthinking act, done under extreme stress, Lower Hutt District Court was today. Craig Leslie Ozich, 31, was sentenced by Judge John Walker to 150 hours' community service after pleading guilty to assault on a child...Judge Walker said Ozich had been boarding at a house where the boy and his mother lived.

September 2007

* Yet Another Child Abuse Story. Catherine Lawson from Jigsaw, National Consultant, National Infrastructure for Children and Youth (NICY) who Witness Family Violence, speaks out following the recent case where a small three year old girl, nicknamed “Pumpkin”, who has been identified as a 3 year old child who has been living in a family violence environment.

*Police investigating baby death - Jyniah Te Awa. South Auckland police are investigating two houses following the death of a 10-month-old baby girl. The girl was taken to hospital from a Manurewa address on Sunday. and and

November 2007

* A mother who left her two- and four-year-old children to wander the streets unsupervised and hungry has been sentenced to community work. They also reported the children wandering outside, unsupervised and hungry, and not being able to find anything in the house but beer. Sometimes the children had injuries, including a burn to the cheek and black eyes.

* VICTIM OF CURSE RITUAL: Janet Moses, 22, of Wainuiomata, was the mother of two little girls. She is thought to have drowned during an exorcism ceremony. A 14-year-old girl nearly died in the ritual that killed Wainuiomata mother Janet Moses. A total of six people were exorcised last month as relatives tried to drive out a makutu, or Maori curse, thought to have been sparked by the theft of a statue. The 14-year-old - a cousin of Ms Moses - was admitted to hospital before being taken into Child, Youth and Family care.

“This latest case is yet another wake-up call, following on from the high-profile Kahui case, that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.” “An independent Inquiry would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie of Family First

3 September 2007 - The Press - Many beneficiaries reveal abuse

Many beneficiaries reveal abuse
By PHIL HAMILTON - The Press | Monday, 3 September 2007

Thousands of beneficiaries are victims of domestic violence, according to new Work and Income statistics.

In the first year, Work and Income's family violence intervention programme asked beneficiaries to reveal violence in the home.

Across the 11 Work and Income (Winz) regions there were 3817 disclosures until the end of June this year, with 339 in Canterbury.

Work and Income head Patricia Reade said a family violence co-ordinator had been put into each region, with no real idea of how many disclosures they would receive.

"We had no expectations around numbers," Reade said. "We just wanted to ensure we were providing appropriate support around domestic violence."

Reade said the number of disclosures, which were leaked to the Press, equated to just over one per cent of their total clients.

"In the context of total benefits (280,000) it's not a big number."

The programme was confidential, with just 1312 of the total number willing to have the information put on their record, she said.

The regional co-ordinators support frontline staff with training, mentoring and information on the range of services and programmes available.

When a person discloses family violence, the case manager refers them to services such as Women's Refuge, Stopping Violence Services, Barnardos and Jigsaw.

Reade said Work and Income could make a significant contribution to reducing family violence and promoting the safety and well-being of clients and their families.

"Because family violence is a sensitive and personal issue, Work and Income provides a supportive and safe environment but respects the client's choice about when and how they disclose family violence."

Christchurch Women's Refuge manager Annette Gillespie said the programme was proving to be a success. "One, in raising awareness; two, in making sure there's a referral path; and three, for strengthening the relationship between our agencies."

She said Women's Refuge had noticed the increase in the number of referrals from Work and Income, but it was not known whether those women would have contacted Women's Refuge themselves.

With the rollout of domestic violence screening at all public hospitals, Gillespie expected demand for Women's Refuge services to rise.

"We would expect where there is the demand there will be greater resourcing."

The programme began in all regions in June 2006, although it had been operating in Nelson, Canterbury and Bay of Plenty as a pilot.


"We would expect where there is the demand there will be greater resourcing."

So these programmes will be resourced to meet the demand. Later, as in Sweden, they will then need to keep the demand up to keep getting the resourcing. Many good families who have used reasonable force to correct their children have been ruined by this policy in Sweden. Why will it be any different in New Zealand?

Child deaths by neglect or violence from 1990 - 2001

Some statistics on Child Abuse cases in NZ before Section 59 was amended:

In New Zealand more Maori children than any other nationality are killed by neglect or violence. From 1990 to 2001, for every 100,000 children in New Zealand 24 Maori children were killed, 12 Asian, nine Pakeha and six polynesian children.
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