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Teens under CYFS 24-hr watch – in motels.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on July 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Teens under CYFS 24-hr watch – in motels.
Sunday, 01.07.2007, 12:23pm (GMT12)

Teens under 24-hr watch – in motels

By JENNY MACINTYRE – Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 1 July 2007

A teenager in Child Youth and Family’s custody was placed in the charge of professional carers who billed the department $30,000 for three months’ work.

Many other teenagers are staying in motels under the 24-hour supervision of security guards and caregivers, who watch over them in three eight-hour shifts.

Barrister Judith Surgenor, Family Court-appointed lawyer for youngsters in the custody of CYF, is frustrated by the lack of government funding to provide suitable facilities for troubled children.

“We pay all this money for individual children but it’s sheer nonsense. There is no facility to provide for kids with high, complex needs.

Lock-up units won’t take them – it’s terrible.”

Her concerns come as two brothers, who claim child welfare authorities failed to keep them safe in the 1960s and 1970s, seek more than $1 million each in a test case in the Wellington High Court.

CYF also came under fire last week after two 14-year-olds, in the care of a CYF-funded trust, were charged with attempted murder after they shot at police in the Bay of Plenty.

Surgenor says the cost for one child’s individualised care can be in excess of $74,000 a year.

She has been told there are about a dozen teenagers in motels under the 24-hour watch of two carers at a time – six people, seven days a week – with security companies providing back-up.

“It is a disgraceful waste of resources and has been a problem for 10 years, since CYF’s work was contracted out to different agencies who dabble in the work with no accountability.”

Children as young as 14 are escaping to live with their friends on the streets in a world of drugs and prostitution because there is no care for them, Surgenor says.

“They hunt in packs. They are out there causing havoc.

When parents cannot or do not care for their children, the responsibility must pass to the government, but CYF can be only as good as the government enables it to be.”

One of Surgenor’s clients, who has intellectual problems, is back out on the streets.

“She gets in with kids who take her into high-risk situations.

The public has no idea of the extent of the problems social workers are forced to deal with.

They talk of girls prostituting themselves while they are in CYF’s care, but where should the department place these kids? There are no facilities.”

Surgenor wants better residential facilities with therapeutic resources to meet the needs of kids in a secure environment.

Principal Youth Court judge Andrew Becroft said although CYF does hold alleged offenders in motels, supervised by trackers and minders, “this is preferable to the use of police cells which have become a de facto second method of custody for young people”.

Becroft said it was unacceptable to use police cells holding young people for 24 hours in solitary confinement.

Better management of youth justice residential facilities and supported bail programmes in the community have improved the situation, he said.

National’s welfare associate spokeswoman Anne Tolley said CYF was responsible for counselling and support for teenagers in its care, to help make some changes in their lives: “Otherwise they will become adult offenders and we have not changed anything.

“Putting them into a motel is only part of the job. This is babysitting until they are 18 and out of the care of CYF.

“We have got to look at residential facilities that can offer the kind of counselling, treatment and support these young people need.

In the past few years we have closed rather than opened these facilities.”

Tolley said the length of time courts could order youngsters into supervision for was another issue.

CYF chief executive Ray Smith said it was unusual for children to stay in motels, but conceded it occurred in exceptional circumstances.

Residential care was available for a small group of children who could not be cared for in the community.

“Improved case management and an increase of 10 beds at the Weymouth facility has reduced the pressure for residential beds over the last 18 months.”


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Family First hits a home run on Helen Clark – Clark hurting.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on July 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Family First hits a home run on Helen Clark – Clark hurting.
Monday, 02.07.2007, 10:40pm (GMT12)

PM backs minister in child smacking row

10:35AM Monday July 02, 2007
By Audrey Young 

David Cunliffe

David Cunliffe

The Smacking Debate

The Prime Minister has come to the defence of Cabinet minister David Cunliffe who is embroiled in a controversy over whether he smacked his 2-year son at a mall.

A witness at New Lynn mall claims to have seen Mr Cunliffe smack his child on the hand to punish him for having hit another child, according to the lobby group Families First. The group strongly opposed the anti-smacking bill passed by Parliament.

Mr Cunliffe’s version is quite different: “My 2-year-old was pulling at a little girl,” he said in a statement.

“I pulled his hand away and calmly told him not to do that.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was astounded that what she calls an extremist organisation had chosen to drag a small child into the debate, simply because the child’s father is an MP.

Miss Clark said Mr Cunliffe acted within the law, but she expected opponents of the anti-smacking legislation would still make an issue of it.

“I can imagine that these obsessed people will look for ways of making vexatious complaints,” she said.

If a complaint is laid, police have protocols in place to deal with the issue, Miss Clark said.

The national director of Families First, Bob McCoskrie, said last night that while he believed Mr Cunliffe had done the right thing in correcting his son for his behaviour, under the new law the police would have been obliged to investigate had a complaint been laid. The police would then have had the discretion not to prosecute.

He said he had highlighted the case to expose what he thinks is a bad law.

“He carried out what any half-decent parent would do. So this is a perfect example of where we have created a law where someone like David Cunliffe could be prosecuted or at least someone could make a complaint and you would have to be investigated.”

Under the new law, it is an offence to smack a child for the purpose of punishment, but it is not an offence to physically stop a child from harming another child.

 

In compromise wording to the law agreed to by Prime Minister Helen Clark and National leader John Key, the police have been given explicit discretion not to prosecute in the case of inconsequential smacks where it is not in the public interest.

Mr Cunliffe’s version suggests he was doing the latter, preventing his son from hurting another child.

Mr McCoskrie’s version suggests that Mr Cunliffe technically breached the law but that it would be among those cases deemed to be too inconsequential to prosecute. However Mr McCoskrie believed the police could be obliged under guidelines to prosecute after a second or third minor or inconsequential smack, if a complaint was made, and refer the case to Child, Youth and Family.

“People like David Cunliffe are at risk of basically a law which brands him a criminal for doing what any other person deems reasonable and appropriate.”

Mr Cunliffe said that if Family First cared about families, “they would not be dragging the small children of MPs into a public debate”.

“I will not lower myself to Family First’s level by making any further comment.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark said Mr Cunliffe, the MP for New Lynn and Immigration Minister, had not attended yesterday’s Labour Party rally in West Auckland because of the incident. Mr Cunliffe and his wife were “distressed” by the publicity.

She said the Families First organisation, which issued a press statement about Mr Cunliffe smacking his toddler, should rebrand itself “Families Last”.

“What public interest is there in dragging that small child into the limelight because his father is a public figure?”

Asked if it was a case of Mr Cunliffe having committed a technical breach but it being too inconsequential to prosecute, she said: “There is no public interest served in a prosecution for an incident that is absolutely inconsequential and trivial and the law always envisaged that parents would restrain children from danger or harm to others.”

 


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Wonder what the fathers who are denied access to their children by CYFS on lesser grounds would think about this?

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on July 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Wonder what the fathers who are denied access to their children by CYFS on lesser grounds would think about this?
Sunday, 08.07.2007, 05:32pm (GMT12)

Kahui wants to see his older son

New 5:00PM Sunday July 08, 2007

The father charged with murdering his three-month-old twins, wants his bail conditions altered so he can see his two-year-old son, Sunday newspapers report today.

Chris Kahui, 22, of south Auckland, is accused of murdering his sons Chris and Cru last year and is due to appear in Manukau District Court next month for a depositions hearing.

The Sunday Star-Times said Kahui had received permission for supervised access to his older son Shane but the court would need to alter Kahui’s bail conditions – which previously included instructions not to associate with children under 12 – for the visits to go ahead.

The Herald on Sunday said Child Youth and Family took the older son into care and Kahui was granted fortnightly visitation rights. But Kahui’s bail conditions stop him from travelling outside Auckland to see the boy.

Chris and Cru Kahui died in Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital last year, five days after being admitted to intensive care with head injuries.

– NZPA

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Website editor in High Court (not CYFSWATCH).

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on July 14, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Website editor in High Court (not CYFSWATCH).
Thursday, 12.07.2007, 09:24pm (GMT12)

Website editor in High Court
Thu, 12 Jul 2007 01:51p.m.

A website editor is appearing in the High Court in Auckland for allegedly attacking senior judges on his sites.
 
Vince Siemer was arrested at Auckland Airport this morning upon his return from America.
 
A judgement issued on Monday said Siemer was in contempt of court for defamatory comments about several High Court Judges on two websites.
 
The comments stem from Siemer’s long-running campaign against the MetroWater Chairman, Michael Stiassny.

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Iwi and CYFS link to gay sex club.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on June 6, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Iwi and CYFS link to gay sex club.
Sunday, 03.06.2007, 09:40pm (GMT12)

Iwi and CYFS link to gay sex club

5:00AM Sunday June 03, 2007

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating allegations that funds intended for Maori social services were invested in a South Auckland gay sex venue.

The inquiry follows the December sacking of Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services chief executive, Arapeta Hamilton, dismissed after a six-week independent financial audit of the Far North group’s financial accounts.

Kaikohe police decided the matter should be passed on to the SFO because the suspected fraud, alleged to have occurred between 2000 and 2005, exceeded their scope.

The Herald on Sunday has learned that aspects of the police and subsequent SFO probes relate to the private business interests of Hamilton, who had held office at NISS since the mid 90s. Sources close to the investigation which led to Hamilton’s dismissal have confirmed that the NISS accounts showed the Kawakawa man was the owner of the failed Southside Cruise Club, a sex venue in a Manukau City warehouse where gay men would pay $10 to have sex.

Math Enterprises, the owners of the Ash Rd premises, said they are owed $10,000 in rent and had enlisted a debt collector to chase Hamilton. The Whangarei District Court issued a judgment against Hamilton in March but he has not been found. Owner Barbara, who did not want her surname used, said Hamilton was upfront about his intentions to convert the large warehouse. “It was a night operation – he even painted over the skylights. We were told it was going to be a homosexual men’s club.

“The impression we got was that he was from a well-to-do family and we were told the club was funded with family money,” she said.

Documents leaked to the Herald on Sunday show how Whangarei private investigator Brian Nalder randomly retrieved 94 cheques issued by the social services organisation, funded mainly by Child, Youth and Family to carry out programmes for “at risk” Maori youth.

Nalder was paid more than $20,000 by Ngapuhi’s Runanga and NISS to see whether there was a case of financial misappropriation or illegal conduct.

The series of cheques, totalling $44,445.69, bore the sole signature of Hamilton and there were allegedly no invoices to support the payments. Some cheques were allegedly issued personally to Hamilton, others were cashed by the senior iwi staffer at the Kamo branch of Westpac Bank. Some were deposited into the account of Southside Limited, which was never incorporated by the Companies Office. The audit report noted a cheque for $3,208 to McQuinn Pumps – “Enquiries have established this cheque paid for repairs to a pump at the chief executive officer’s mother’s home.” .

 

Nalder said in his view, his investigation “revealed prima-facie evidence of very serious fraud involving NISS funds being used for inappropriate purposes”.

Runanga chairman Sonny Tau last week denied knowing specific details about the gay sex club but conceded that there were “serious problems” with the accounts from the period that Hamilton managed the social services arm of Ngapuhi. “All you should write is that there is an investigation, no need to put that other gay stuff in,” Tau advised. A source close to the iwi, the country’s largest, said Ngapuhi had tried to keep the details of the investigation secret. “This is a huge embarrassment… government money and gay sex, by crikey it’s bad,” the source said. Tau said there were “no problems” with how NISS delivered services on behalf of CYF.

Last week Hamilton said he had “nothing to say” about the cruise club.

Northland MP John Carter has welcomed the SFO investigation and suggested the Ministry of Social Development also launch its own inquiry. “Clearly there wasn’t enough monitoring from the Ministry,” said Carter, who intends grilling the Government in parliament when the house resumes in a fortnight.

In a statement, CYF said it commissioned an independent review of Ngapuhi’s financial performance in 2006. “While there were areas where remedial action was required around Ngapuhi’s governance, management and financial practises, Child, Youth and Family was satisfied that Ngapuhi had delivered and completed on time their contract obligations and that issues regarding its management had all been addressed.”


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130 youth sex offenders – has CYF told police?

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

130 youth sex offenders – has CYF told police?
Thursday, 24.05.2007, 07:59am (GMT12)

130 youth sex offenders – has CYF told police?

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare (CYF) Spokeswoman

08 May 2007

130 youth sex offenders – has CYF told police?

National’s Associate Welfare (CYF) spokeswoman, Anne Tolley wants to know if Child Youth and Family have told police about the 130 young sex offenders living in communities around New Zealand.

The number of youth sex offenders living in the community was revealed in Parliament today by Associate Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson.

“How can we be sure police in other regions are being alerted to similar situations?

“In the Napier case, a paid supervisor was supposed to maintain a constant watch on the young offender. This didn’t happen.

“Instead, he was able to leave the house at least 14 times, during which he prowled around a neighbouring property – home to a solo mother and a five year old girl.

“What on earth was CYF thinking when it housed this offender next door to a young child?

“At any stage did CYF workers actually check out the environment they were putting him in?

“The mother of this young girl has fled her home because she doesn’t feel safe and a child was put at risk because CYF didn’t get the basics right.

“Someone must be held accountable.

“CYF has admitted that the teenage offender did not receive adequate supervision, but that’s not enough.

“New Zealand parents need to know their children are safe in their own homes. They need to know that when an offender is ordered to be under constant supervision – that’s exactly what is happening.”

ENDS

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Mother, daughter flee CYF sex offender.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Mother, daughter flee CYF sex offender.
Thursday, 24.05.2007, 07:45am (GMT12)

Mother, daughter flee CYF sex offender.

By BRUCE CUTLER – The Dominion Post | Thursday, 24 May 2007

The “bewildered and angry” mother of a five-year-old girl says they are being forced to flee their Napier home after a teen sex offender admitted stalking the child – and will now be moved to a property down the road.

Mataroa Barton, 18, convicted of sex crimes against young girls in 2005, was moved to Napier four months ago near the solo mother and her child. He jumped a fence into the woman’s backyard at least 14 times in the three weeks up to April 30.

The youth was under a court order at the time, requiring him to be under 24-hour supervision, but on one occasion he gave his three minders the slip and the mother caught him with his face pressed up to a playroom window at night smiling at her daughter.

Barton pleaded guilty in Napier District Court yesterday to breaching the terms of his supervision order by being on the woman’s property.

He received a 12-month suspended sentence.

But the mother is outraged that he has now been placed in a house less than two kilometres from hers.

She said she and her daughter would be forced from their home.

“I don’t like the idea that he will always know where we live. Basically I have been told (by police) it’s not a case of if he re-offends, but when. I’m bewildered and really angry.

“The court order in place before was for him not to leave the property and that didn’t stop him. He hasn’t even been given a punishment sentence basically.

“He’s somewhere in Napier with more caregivers being paid $3000 a week to look after him.

“I contacted CYF and basically they’re doing everything for him but what about the community. It’s just totally wrong.”

A probation service plan was accepted by the court yesterday for Barton to be moved to the new house, the address of which is suppressed, to help prepare him for release into the community in May 2008 upon completing his sentence.

A CYF spokeswoman said police had been told where Barton would be living.

When asked if neighbouring families in the area had been notified of the presence of the teenage sex offender she said “that matter is under consideration”.

Napier MP Chris Tremain said Barton had already shown he was a risk to young children.

The mother and her child – and the whole Napier community – deserved to feel safe.

“I’ve heard it’s within walking distance of this lady and that’s unacceptable. He’s got away from his supervisors before and there is an obligation to let people know that he’s there.

“Who do we care for most in the community? Is it the perpetrators or the victims of crime? There could be children in this street where he is to be moved to and they should know that this guy has a history.”


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Fiji picks up from where Helen Clark left off.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Fiji picks up from where Helen Clark left off.
Monday, 14.05.2007, 08:02pm (GMT12)

Claims Fiji military trying to close down blogs

By MICHAEL FIELD – Fairfax Media | Friday, 11 May 2007

 

Fiji military are said to be trying to block public access in the country to three high profile web blog-sites set up since December’s coup.

The sites, intelligensiya, resistfrankscoup and fijishamelist have often published detailed inside information on the senior figures in the military government.

Lately some have published colourful claims about the private lives of top officers.

Fiji Military head Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama overthrew the government in December and later declared himself prime minister.

In an email to readers, Intelligensiya this morning said they had “credible information” that the military was trying to pull the plug on access. Their soldiers were said o be at the Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) office this morning.

The other blogs have also reported similar claims.

FINTEL is 51 per cent Fiji Government owned with Cable and Wireless of Britain holding the rest of the shares. It is the sole Internet provider into Fiji for the public although the regional University of the South Pacific has its own alternative connections.

The military had no comment on the claims today but yesterday Colonel Pita Driti, the number three officer, said they were working on tracking down the blog authors.

He told the Fiji Times they were spreading “lies against us and members of the interim regime”.


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Anti-smacking Petition forms to download and sign.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Anti-smacking Petition forms to download and sign.
Monday, 14.05.2007, 07:53pm (GMT12)

http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/files/Parents%20Don’t%20Accept%20Bill%20Herald.pdf


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“Most Extreme Anti-Smacking Law in World” – Expert.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

“Most Extreme Anti-Smacking Law in World” – Expert.
Monday, 14.05.2007, 02:24pm (GMT12)

“Most Extreme Anti-Smacking Law in World” – Expert

13 MAY 2007

MP’s to Vote on “Most Extreme Anti-Smacking Law in World” – Expert

Politicians will vote this week on the world’s most extreme anti-smacking law in the world, according to Dr Robert E Larzelere, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science at the Oklahoma State University, who was brought to New Zealand by Family First NZ as a scientific expert on child correction for the debate on Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill.

In a commentary written after his week in NZ earlier this month speaking with politicians and media, he says “.the imminent New Zealand smacking ban is more extreme than Sweden’s ban in three ways. Using force to correct children will be subject to full criminal penalties .

Sweden’s ban had no criminal penalty. In addition, New Zealand’s bill bans the mildest use of force to correct children, not just smacking. This removes most disciplinary enforcements parents have used for generations, especially for the most defiant youngsters. Finally, the required change in disciplinary enforcements will be the biggest change ever imposed on parents.”

Dr Larzelere also highlights concerns of immigrants to NZ with the law and says “The New Zealand bill’s proponents claim that missionaries were responsible for introducing smacking and bashing to the Maori and other South Pacific peoples. The irony is that they are doing the same thing they accuse missionaries of – imposing a European philosophy of child correction on native ethnic groups – this time enforced with criminal penalties.”

He warns that the law to be voted on this Wednesday by Parliament “.runs counter to scientific evidence, previous experiences with similar bans, and the wisdom of previous generations as far back as we can remember. It illustrates the world’s increasing inability to work out well-reasoned balanced positions rather than forcing people to choose between polarized extremes.”

Dr Larzelere compares our politicians’ efforts to ban smacking with US President George W Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and says Bush “.had an overly optimistic view about invading Iraq because they heard only one optimistic side of the scenarios. Now our country is in a quagmire with no good way out. For the sake of New Zealand’s children and future, I hope they have a better exit strategy than George Bush.”

Dr Larzelere’s full warning can be read at http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/index.cfm/Dr_Larzelere  

ENDS


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