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MENZ ISSUES

MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Sun 31st October 2004

Family Court Scheme Could Be Success

Filed under: Law & Courts — domviol @ 1:59 pm

The Union of Fathers believes a new Family Court pilot scheme will be a huge success, if it is well resourced.

A non judge-led mediation service is being trialled to resolve custody and access issues on Auckland’s North Shore.

Union of Fathers spokesman Jim Bagnall says it is critical highly skilled mediators are used, so parents understand what is best for their children.

Mr Bagnall says interest in the pilot is huge because New Zealanders want change in the Family Court.

Sat 30th October 2004

Pilot scheme should be more successful

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 1:07 pm

There are hopes a pilot scheme for resolving child custody issues will be more successful than the current system.

Early next year families on Auckland’s North Shore will be given the option of accepting mediation not led by a judge.

Courts Minister Rick Barker says currently families referred to mediation can wait weeks or even months to be appointed a Family Court judge.

He says this way, properly trained mediators can speed up the process and help families find their own solutions.

Anger over wife-beater home-detention ruling

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 1:05 pm

Concerns for the safety of a woman and her children were raised last night after a Christchurch judge allowed a convicted wife-beater to apply for home detention.

Brian Gardner, the national manager of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services, said the man should never have been allowed to apply for home detention.

“If he gets home detention his partner will effectively be his jailer,” he said.

“Courts are abdicating their responsibility for care and protection by sending an abusive man back to the house with his victims.”

Home detention orders are only served with the consent of the woman involved, but Sheryl Hann, the policy research adviser of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, said victims might agree because they were fearful of retaliation.

“Judges need to realise that domestic violence is a life and death situation and that home detention should never be allowed under any circumstances.”

Fri 29th October 2004

Woman cries rape for revenge on abuse

Filed under: Law & Courts — domviol @ 8:18 pm

A Rotorua woman lied to police about being raped and kidnapped by her partner to get revenge on him for seriously assaulting her, the Rotorua District Court was told.

The 55-year-old, who has interim name suppression, pleaded guilty to a charge of fabricating evidence and will be sentenced in December.

The woman alleged her partner held her captive at a Rotorua house this year before taking her to a beach where she was assaulted, raped and violated.

The man was committed to trial after a depositions hearing but the woman later signed an affidavit saying the rape and kidnapping allegations were false.

Wipe my tax debts or I’ll shoot

Filed under: Law & Courts — domviol @ 7:52 pm

A Westport man who threatened to shoot people unless his tax debt was wiped was jailed for two years when he appeared in the Westport District Court.

Wayne William Anderson, 45, was sentenced to two years in jail for drink-driving, possessing a rifle and ammunition and holding a firearm without a licence.

On July 22, Anderson was phoning Inland Revenue when he threatened to go out and start shooting people within 30 minutes if his debts were not cleared.

Police found Anderson 50 minutes later with a loaded rifle, 72 rounds of ammunition and bottles of spirits in his car.

His lawyer, Doug Taffs, said Anderson’s offending followed the tragic death of his son. His stress was exacerbated by the tax department trying to recover child support debt.

Thu 28th October 2004

Toddler safe after police drama

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:55 pm

A 20-year-old man who allegedly snatched his two-year-old son from his former partner in the Far North yesterday will appear in the Kaikohe District Court today.

Up to 50 police, including the armed offenders squad, were involved in the operation from about 7.30am.

The boy and his mother were the subject of a protection order.

A hunting rifle was in the vehicle but Mr Swann said his understanding was that the firearm was not carried during the alleged abduction.

After the kidnap, the man eventually made his way to Teal Bay where he parked his dark green 1997 Ford Falcon station wagon under a pohutukawa tree at a reserve at the end of the beach, near an estuary.

Are Dads Getting A Fair Go?

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:48 pm

First it was Wayne Pruden who kidnapped his son, now another father has taken the law into his own hands abducting his son, so is the Family Court giving fathers a fair go, or are some Dads out of control?

Streaming video of Holmes interviewing Jim Bagnal from Union of Fathers

Infanticide defence review

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:42 pm

Mothers who kill their children may not be able to argue post-natal depression to avoid a murder conviction after a Government-ordered review of infanticide laws.

Justice Minister Phil Goff has asked the Law Commission to consider whether infanticide should be repealed, because sentencing laws now allow judges to consider mitigating factors for murder and vary sentences.

Any change to the law will spark an emotional debate about whether a mentally ill woman who kills her child should carry the stigma of being called a murderer.

There are also concerns the penalty for murder can be far greater than for infanticide, which carries a maximum penalty of three years’ jail.

Worried father can’t find his 15-month-old son

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:39 pm

Wiping away tears, Hamilton man Wayne Pruden talks about how he went to pick up his 15-month old son yesterday and came home without him.

He should have had his 15-month-old son returned to him after a four-week holiday in Vietnam.

But Mr Pruden, 42, has no idea where his son is, though it is believed he is back in Hamilton.

The toddler left a month ago with his Vietnamese mother and was to have returned to New Zealand last week.

The boy’s passport has since been surrendered to Hamilton District Court in accordance with a Family Court ruling and Mr Pruden expected to see his son yesterday as part of a shared custody agreement.

But Mr Pruden — who hid his son in a Hamilton motel in a bid to prevent him from leaving New Zealand last month — waited in vain at the usual meeting place in the city and wonders whether his son is in New Zealand at all.

Sun 24th October 2004

Traditional Kiwi Male Threatened

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 12:36 pm

Well away from pig hunting and jugs of beer, in the halls of Waikato University, psychology lecturer Dr Darrin Hodgetts says for the last couple of decades men have been told that there’s something wrong with expressing the sort of manly traits idealised by brewery and ute adverts…

A couple of decades of feminism has negatively influenced the thinking of universities and the public sector towards the traditional Kiwi male, Hodgetts says.

He has published research on women’s health, but has also studied post-feminist theory and says the academic view of masculinity has been skewed too far to the negative.

Women’s studies academics at Auckland University have sensed anti-feminist attitudes in his research topic, and challenged him to a debate. The glint in his eye indicates he’s looking forward to it.

It shouldn’t be sacrilegious to question why there isn’t more male gender research being done, he says, particularly in the field of men’s health.

Fri 22nd October 2004

Nelson police not sorry for arresting father after birth

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 12:32 pm

Nelson police are unapologetic for arresting a man shortly after his partner gave birth to a baby girl they say is drug-dependent due to the mother’s drug addiction.

The five-day-old baby has been placed into the interim care of Child, Youth and Family after police concerns about the mother’s drug habit and the arrest of the baby’s father Warwick James for breach of bail.

James said he was approached by Detective Sergeant Tony Bernards minutes after the birth of his daughter on Sunday morning and hospital staff were in tears as he was taken to a nearby foyer and told he was to go to the Nelson police station.

“I said I did not think this was a very appropriate time and could he come back later,” he said.

“They could have waited until the next day. I wasn’t going anywhere.”

Wed 20th October 2004

Protest at Counsel for Child Workshop

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:11 am

The New Zealand Law Society’s October 2004 Advanced Counsel for Child Workshop at Waipuna Lodge in Auckland was the target of a Union of Fathers protest last Monday.

Protestors at Counsel for Child Workshop

Men have long complained that counsels for child often act as a second lawyer for the mother, and typically fail to protect the father/child relationship. Union of Fathers members say that the generous fees paid to lawyers who help remove fathers from families would be better utilised in mediation, conflict resolution and communication courses, and other interventions which aim to allow children continuing contact with both their parents following a relationship break-up.

One reporter from a local paper turned up to cover the protest, but as none of the superheros present were prepared to undertake dramatic or disruptive actions, television reporters were not interested. Fortunately, menz.org.nz has obtained video footage of the event for your entertainment:

Download Counsel for Child protest video here [486KB .wmv]

Mon 11th October 2004

Men’s Centre 10th Birthday Party

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 12:48 pm

A small but dedicated bunch of men women and children (plus a “parrot” – centre of photo behind cake) turned up to celebrate the 10th Aniversary of Men’s Centre North Shore. Several super-heroes were in attendance. Jack Lioneagle’s protest songs were played loudly, Speights was sunk and cake was eaten.

The evening’s most enthusiastically received toast was “that in another 10 years the Men’s Centre would be redundant”.

Men's Centre North Shore 10th birthday party

Tue 5th October 2004

Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,General — Youth @ 12:23 pm

The Ministry of Youth Development (formerly Youth Affairs) have recently produced a literature review on Young Males that I thought I would post on this site.

Launched by the Hon John Tamihere, Minister of Youth Affairs, the publication Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches is anticipated to be of great interest to all people who work with the young men of New Zealand. Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches can be downloaded here.

There are a number of male youth behaviours within New Zealand that have been identified as a cause for concern. Often these behaviours place people, property, or the young men themselves at risk. Young men are disproportionately represented in areas such as leaving school without qualifications, unemployment, justice sector interactions and a number of high health risk behaviours including motor vehicle accidents and youth suicide.

The Ministry of Youth Development recognises that a number of agencies and organisations currently deliver programmes, initiatives and interventions to assist young males in areas of their lives where they could be doing better. The literature review explores two proposed strategies for improving programme outcomes for young men, these are: strengths-based approaches and male-focused delivery styles.

There has not been a lot of work conducted into how gender-related factors contribute to programme recruitment, retention or outcomes. The findings do, however, identify a number of areas where the experiences, feelings, behaviours and needs of young males differ from those of young females.

It should be noted that this is one of the first government publications to record young men not as “at risk” of poor outcomes, but as inherently “at promise” of healthy lives. This strengths-based approach is seen as a significant tool when working with young men. Young men are not a problem to be fixed, but rather an enthusiastic and vibrant source of energy which can be directed positively.

I trust that you will find this publication of interest and that we can work together to promote the potential benefits that the acknowledgement of gender may bring.

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