News about abusive texts stuns parents of dead girl
The parents of a 15-year-old girl walked out of court yesterday when they learned that their daughter's lover stood by and watched his wife send abusive texts to her.
The girl killed herself days later.
In the Rotorua District Court, Pelesasa Tiumalu, 28, was jailed for four years and three months for having sex with an underage girl.
Editorial: Remarkable result
On the face of it, a new approach by the St Thomas of Canterbury school to misbehaviour by students has been an extraordinary success.
Since replacing its pastoral care behaviour management system with a restorative justice programme, the number of suspensions and expulsions the school has made have plummeted.
Lessons in transformation: "You gotta smile at the little f…ers"
By KIm Workman
Last night, Maori Television screened the first of a two part programme dealing with the issue of family violence and child abuse. ‘Tamariki Ora - A New Beginning’ was a defining moment for Maori. It showed Maori men acknowledging that the abuse they received as children, turned them into abusers of their own children. But it also showed the extent to which whanau (families) are acknowledging the issues, forging their own solutions, and actively working within their whanau and the community to encourage positive, loving relationships.
I recall in my own marae (*meeting house) , less than 20 years ago, female elders defending a male elder who had sexually abused a visiting school child, as being a practise that was culturally acceptable in traditional times. We all knew that was nonsense, but no one had the guts to face the issue head on. Those days are now well and truly gone.
I wept tears at the programme – but they were tears of joy. From this day on, no one will ever be able to say that Maori are failing to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
Grubby white collar crime: Life without an ethical framework
The New Zealand media has been awash over the last few days, with news about the unauthorised credit card purchases by former Ministers of the Crown, including purchases for flowers, massages, and a set of golf clubs. While they have all paid the money back, it was a clear breach of parliamentary service rules. It is a practise that in the business sector would result in withdrawal of credit privileges, and possible dismissal.
Former Cabinet Minister Shane Jones, although not the biggest spender, publicly confessed to hiring around 50 porno movies while staying at hotels, and has come in for special media treatment. His wife and family are furious with him, and those of us who regard him as potentially a significant Maori political statesman, are by turns, angry with him, and saddened. I spoke with Shane yesterday at the airport, and we shared about the cathartic nature of confession, and its spiritual value.
Three strikes: A blot on our judicial landscape
The passing into law of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (the three strikes legislation) last week, was a milestone of a kind – it marked the passing into law of arguably the worst piece of criminal justice legislation in New Zealand history.
While the legislation is a shocker, the way in which it was managed through the legislation process is a case study in political manipulation of the democratic process, lending weight to Lord Acton’s famous words, “All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Three strikes 'means nothing to lose'
He has visited more than 1000 jails but Rimutaka Prison's container cells were a first for a visiting expert, who says locking up criminals for life will spark violence.
The Prison Fellowship International president Ronald Nikkel, from Canada, was in Wellington this week, after the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act, or "three strikes" law, was passed.
It's time to make the punishment fit the white-collar crime
from the Nelson Mail (NZ) editorial:
....it's not easy to maintain a clear-eyed focus on justice.
Very few New Zealanders will feel that this is what happened when Blue Chip co-founder Mark Bryers entered the dock on Thursday to be sentenced on 34 charges. Most, and particularly the Blue Chip investors who have lost their nest eggs, will feel that his sentence was a perfect case of the "slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket".
Can prisoners also be victims? Promoting injustice through legislation
by Kim Workman
Last week’s introduction of the Prisoners' and Victims' Claims (Expiry and Application Dates) Amendment Bill, brings to mind one of the most shameful incidents in the history of New Zealand’s prison system. As Head of Prisons at the time, it gives me no great pleasure to reflect on the incident and the subsequent political response to it.
In January 1993, three young prisoners at Mangaroa (now Hawkes Bay) prison were systematically beaten and tortured by prison officers. They held the young men naked in outside exercise yards, and used hit squads to repeatedly beat them over a three day period. The prisoners were initially denied access to medical support for injuries which included bruising and cracked bones.
Proposed "three strikes" legislation in New Zealand
In recent months, the three strikes legislation has created concern across the political and ideological spectrum. The Maxim Institute, sponsored a speaking tour by Professor Warren Brookbanks and Senior Lecturer Richard Ekins of Auckland University. They also published an excellent report setting out the facts about the three strikes legislation.
....Brookbanks and Ekins report “Criminal Injustice and the Three Strikes Law” considers the legislation is both wrong and unjust for the following reasons:
Restorative Justice Centre's submission to Ministry of Justice on victims' rights
The Restorative Justice Centre at AUT University in New Zealand has responded to a discussion draft titled "A Focus on Victims of Crime: A Review of Victims' Rights" on how the government might better address the needs of crime victims. Following are excerpts from RJC's response:
9. The central justice needs of victims are submitted to be accountability, vindication, empowerment, information, truth-telling and future safety. Only the first and last of these are addressed (to some degree) by the current legal process, and then only when the offender is convicted. Thus in crimes that go largely unreported, such as sexual offences, there can be no feeling of accountability in the absence of alternative processes, and victims remain unsafe.
10. The remaining four central justice needs are those which Dr Howard Zehr, known to and used by MoJ as a consultant in restorative justice, has said are “especially neglected”. They are next mentioned separately. However they overlap with needs identified by other writers.