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

Tue 31st May 2005

Parents’ defence should go

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

Press Release: New Zealand Law Society

Parents should not be able to defend charges of assault against children by claiming they were using ‘reasonable force’ to correct a child, says the Chair of the New Zealand Law Society’s Family Law Section, Simon Maude.

He was responding to the jury’s acquittal in Timaru of a mother charged with assault for giving her son six strokes with a cane and a separate charge arising from striking him with a horse whip. She was found not guilty because of the statutory defence in section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which allows parents to use reasonable force when disciplining children.

Simon Maude said the acquittal reinforces the Family Law Section’s view that the statutory defence should be repealed.

“Modern understanding of the cyclical nature of domestic violence and the harm it does, demands that our law no longer condones parents using violence against children,” he said.

The Family Law Section has already written to the Government expressing its opposition to the law in its current form and has offered to help draft appropriate replacement legislation.

Have today’s women got the jump on men?

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:19 am

Women fill the roles of Governor-General, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker and the heads of our biggest listed company and our second-biggest bank.

Labour MP John Tamihere told Investigate magazine last month that the most powerful network in the ruling party was “the Labour Party wimmin’s division … it’s about an anti-men’s agenda”.

Men, it seems, are reeling from the shock of it. Former Lifeline director Bruce Mackie told a men’s summit at Waitakere this month that more men than women were dying of cancer, heart disease, accidents and suicide because of “a crisis of the spirit”.

When women are throwing themselves off the Sky Tower and into the paid workforce, taking the risks that men used to take, men are left wondering what their role is.

“They are not nurturers any more, and we are not protectors. Everything has changed,” says Father and Child Society president Philip Chapman.

Well, poor old men, you might say. At first sight their complaints look laughable alongside the figures on the next page, showing that, below the very top level of business and politics, men are mostly still in control.

Technology, economic and demographic forces and official policies are all transforming the roles of men and women faster than men, at least, have kept up with.

Former Women’s Affairs Minister Margaret Shields, who is convening a national women’s convention in Wellington next weekend, says the organisers initially planned a joint conference of men and women to celebrate 30 years of social change since a big United Women’s Convention in 1975.

“But men really weren’t ready,” she says. “On the whole, men haven’t had to be half as reflective as women, because they were kind of in charge.

“I would really welcome similar meetings for men to look at what they see as their vision for society, so we can get further ahead.”

Women run the country but it doesn’t show in pay packets

Thirty years of feminism have transformed New Zealand, but below the very top level, men remain in charge.

Figures collected for the Weekend Herald by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs show that women have moved into paid work in massive numbers since a United Women’s Convention in Wellington in 1975. Back then, women accounted for 32 per cent of total employment; now it’s almost half (46 per cent).

But when 500 women meet for a new national convention in Wellington next weekend to review 30 years of progress, the score will be mixed.

Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor, a former editor of the Sunday News, said when she looks at her former profession 20 years on, she doesn’t see many more senior women than in her day.

Sat 28th May 2005

Workplace Is Major Focus For Women’s Affairs

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 5:00 pm

Press Release: Ministry Of Women’s Affairs

Women’s safety in the home and their ability to participate as fully in the workforce as they choose are the priorities for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs during the next three years.

The Ministry’s Statement of Intent 2005-2008 released today says that the Ministry is pursuing a range of policy projects that enhance women’s participation in the workforce but balances this participation with their roles as carers. Economic well-being for women is essential, but with the second major goal of the Action Plan for New Zealand Women being work-life balance, women’s overall well-being must respect their caring responsibilities. Work on childcare, paid parental leave, retirement savings, housing and businesses owned and operated by women are also important.

Chief Executive Shenagh Gleisner said the Ministry has made significant progress in the last year in building its capability so it can have a positive influence in the three focus areas of economic independence, work-life balance and well-being.

Tue 24th May 2005

Six CYF children a month housed in motels

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 1:58 pm

Child, Youth and Family has housed six children a month on average in motels and backpacker hostels because of a shortage of caregivers.

Figures obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show that 54 children in CYF care were placed in motels, backpackers and guest houses from January to September last year.

CYF said it could not provide details on how many nights each child had spent in motels as the information was held in individual files.

However, separate figures suggest the department is spending tens of thousands of dollars on putting children up in motels and similar accommodation, and paying for their food, as stays can be lengthy.

Children in CYF care who stay at motels or backpackers are accompanied by around-the-clock minders, who are paid between $10-$17 an hour.

The department had launched a nationwide recruitment campaign to boost the number of caregivers around the country.

National MP Judith Collins said it was “totally inappropriate” for children who had been removed from their homes because of possible ill-treatment to be “holed up in a motel room with a TV and nothing else”.

Ms Collins also said it was appalling that CYF did not keep records on how much it spends on putting children up in motels.

More than 70 children in Child, Youth and Family care have been removed from their foster parents after allegations that they had been physically and sexually abused by them in the past two years.

The figures, released to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act after seven months, show that 34 children alleged physical or sexual abuse against their foster parents in the year to June 2003, and 41 made claims in the year to June 2004.

The department initially said it did not keep such statistics but its specialist video unit eventually provided the figures. However, the unit does not deal with all complaints or abuse allegations. It records interviews only after strong concerns of abuse, which can then be used as evidence in court.

CYF said there was no central record of how many claims had been substantiated, but said it was working to install a system that would make the information available.

In the year to June 2004, six children said their foster fathers had sexually abused them, 18 said their foster mothers had physically abused them and 17 alleged their foster fathers had physically abused them.

The figures come after eight CYF workers were sacked for “inappropriate behaviour” at work last year.

The Family and Foster Care Federation has begun a pilot scheme aimed at providing support for foster carers who face allegations of abuse.

Mon 23rd May 2005

Prostate treatment cuts rate by 60%

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 10:02 am

Australian and New Zealand researchers have identified a treatment which cuts the chances of prostate cancer returning by 60 per cent.

The 10 year Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) trial on 800 men with inoperable prostate cancer found a period of hormone therapy before radiotherapy could help stop the cancer returning.

The treatment also cut the chances of cancer spreading to other parts of the body by a third.

Chairman of the 96-01 trial management committee Jim Denham said it was great news for men with prostate cancer.

“What we have found in this trial is (that) a relatively short course of hormone treatment and radiotherapy together will not only cut the chances of the cancer returning to the prostate, but stop the cancer from spreading,” Professor Denham said.

“That’s really good because it’s the spread that kills the men.”

Prof Denham said prostate cancer affected just as many men as breast cancer affected women.

In Australia, 10,500 men get the cancer each year, and 2,500 die from it.

“We heard the other day that Kylie (Minogue) is just one of 30 women each day who learn they’ve got breast cancer,” Prof Denham said.

“It’s exactly the same with prostate cancer, 30 men every day learn that they have got prostate cancer.

“About four out of 10 of them find themselves in this boat.”

Stressed fathers needed for research

Filed under: General,Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 9:58 am

Witnessing a loved one give birth, especially for the first time, is both an anxiety provoking and exhilarating experience.

Yet for many fathers childbirth was not the joyous experience they hoped for. Having a baby is an extraordinary event in a man’s life, but many men do not receive the support they need. Some suffer from symptoms resembling post-traumatic stress disorder.

“ There is no published research on how post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth affects fathers,” says Associate Professor Gillian White.

“ We know that a small percentage of women suffer a distressing birth yet we know little about what it is like for fathers who witness a traumatic birth.”

“ It is important that men’s feelings are recognised for proper advice to be offered,” she says. Dr White and Gregg LaHood are looking for men who are willing to tell their story of witnessing their partner give birth in a situation which caused prolonged stress.

It does not matter how long ago the experience was or which child it involved.

Participants can write their stories down in a letter or email attachment. Alternatively they may wish to record their stories on tape or speak to one of the researchers personally.

“When a new mother is unwell or unhappy it affects all the family,” says Professor White.

“Similarly if the new father is feeling stressed and traumatised following birth it affects his partner and family also. By learning more about what fathers experience, health professionals will be able to provide guidance and avoid potentially serious consequences.”

For further information contact: Associate Professor Gillian White G.White@massey.ac.nz

Fri 20th May 2005

To The Editor

Filed under: General — triassic @ 4:55 pm

The New Zealand Herald
PO Box 32
New Zealand

The Lace Curtain

During the cold war the Soviet Union embraced the ideology of communism and kept control by excluding contrary view points, it became known as the “Iron Curtain.” Feminism has imposed its ideology on all areas of our society to the exclusion of other points of view. This has been termed by opponents as the ‘one party’ view of gender politics… “The Lace Curtain”.

In your paper Jenny Kirk illustrated a narcissistic perspective that is typical of women brought up through the Women’s Movement. The juxtaposition of the evolving men’s movement is strikingly different.

Men do not want to exclude women in their quest to have equality in their access to parenthood or their access to the Government Health purse. However, at the recent Men’s summit it was obvious through the evidence delivered that men and boys are trivialised in our society.



Filed under: General — Downunder @ 1:39 pm

First I read the Editorial about Benson-Pope (NZ Herald Thursday 19.5.2005) and then Garth Georges column, on the opposite page, both deliberating about the teaching practices of our associate minister of education

The Editorial started by developing the theme of excessive behaviour. The Protocol being described was distinctly male, the Process described was excessive, but they need to be distinguished, and were not. In this era the method by which this would have been dealt with was by accountability – (a distinctly male protocol as opposed to the female protocol of claiming to be a victim, traditionally their first line of defence.)

The Wake of the Feminazi

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 11:50 am

The Wake of the Feminazi

Spring tide of political diffusion
Flotsam in the house
Born of a sea of confusion
Raised by the depths of uncertainty.

Man or mouse, Women or louse
Leaders stand strong – the selfish rest
Be honoured for a future
That delivers our children its best.

Bevan Berg.

Police Give Warning

Filed under: General — triassic @ 9:52 am

Police are warning all men who frequent clubs, parties local pubs and singles organisations particularly on the internet to be alert and stay cautious when offered a drink from any woman. Many females use a date rape drug on the market called “Beer”. The drug is found in liquid form and available almost everywhere. It comes in bottles, cans, from taps and in large “kegs”.

“Beer” is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to persuade their male victims to go home and have sex with them. A woman needs only to get a guy to consume a few units of “Beer” and then simply ask him home for no strings attached sex. Men are rendered helpless against this approach.

Many times these unfortunate men are swindled out of their life’s savings in a scam known as a “relationship”. In extreme cases, the female may even be shrewd enough to entrap the unsuspecting male into a longer term form of servitude and punishment referred to as “marriage”.

This can produce a dangerous situation where a part of your soul is removed and placed in a baby. Servitude and punishment can then be administered well after “marriage” is finished.

Please! Forward this warning to every male you know. If you fall victim to this “Beer” and the women administering it….. there are male support groups where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter with similarly affected like-minded guys. For the support group nearest you, just look up “men’s rest homes” in the Yellow Pages.

Thu 19th May 2005

Abortion lowered USA crime rates

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 12:18 pm

Extract from a book review of ‘Freakonomics’, by Levitt & Dubner.

One of his best-known, and in some quarters notorious, findings concerns America’s falling crime-rate during the 1990s. Towards the end of that decade, confounding the expectations of most analysts, the teenage murder rate fell by more than 50% in the space of five years; by 2000, the book notes, the overall murder rate was at its lowest for 35 years. Other kinds of crime fell too. Why? Some gave the credit to economic growth; others to gun control; still others to new methods of policing, or to greater reliance on imprisonment, or to increasing use of the death penalty, or to the ageing of the population.

Mr Levitt goes carefully through these various explanations, checking them against the evidence. He finds that some of them do offer a partial explanation (more jail time, for instance), whereas others do not (greater use of the death penalty, new policing methods). But the most intriguing finding was that one of the most powerful explanations had not even been broached. That explanation was abortion.

The reasoning is simple enough. In January 1973, the Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the United States, where previously it had been available in only five states. In 1974, roughly 750,000 women had abortions in America; by 1980, the number was 1.6m (one abortion for every 2.3 live births). “What sort of woman was most likely to take advantage of Roe v Wade?” the book asks.

“Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three…In other words, the very factors that drove millions of American women to have an abortion also seemed to predict that their children, had they been born, would have led unhappy and possibly criminal lives…In the early 1990s, just as the first cohort of children born after Roe v Wade was hitting its late teen years the years during which young men enter their criminal prime – the rate of crime began to fall.”

The theory is the easy part, once you dare to articulate it. Testing it is quite another matter. But the book moves methodically and persuasively through the statistical evidence. It turns out, for instance, that crime started falling earlier in the states that legalised abortion before Roe v Wade; that the states with the highest abortion rates saw the biggest drops in crime (even controlling for other factors); that there was no link between abortion rates and crime before the late 1980s (when unborn criminals, as it were, first began to affect the figures); and that a similar association of crime and abortion has been found in other countries.

Shared parenting, not $6m, the answer

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:32 am

Dr Muriel Newman (ACT Party)

It is a sad day for New Zealand when a government throws another $6.2 million of taxpayer’s money into the family destruction industry, instead of getting to the heart of the problem and fixing the law, ACT Deputy Leader Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Dr Newman was responding to today’s announcement that the Government will spend $6.2m over the next four years to run programmes through the Family Court to help separating parents reduce conflict and the stress separation can cause their children.

“The problem of conflict between separating parents, which creates victims out of their children, stems from the antiquated custody laws which Labour has refused to change,” Dr Newman said.

“Under these laws, two parents who are considered equal with regard to their responsibility for their children before their relationship breaks down, are no longer considered to be equal afterwards. The mother is awarded sole custody of the children and dad is charged child support and has an occasional visit with his children. That is what is responsible for some of the conflict between separating couples.

“On three separate occasions I have promoted shared parenting legislation that would fix this position.

“Under shared parenting, both parents are deemed to be equal with regard to their responsibility for their children after a separation,” Dr Newman said. “They can both decide on the living, schooling and other arrangements that would be in the best interests of their child.

“In countries where shared parenting is the law, conflict has significantly reduced. Children do better and both parents are valued. It’s a win, win situation.

“It saddens me that Labour has defeated my attempts to introduce shared parenting. I can only conclude that they have no desire to sort this problem out,” Dr Newman said.

Failings of Feminism

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 9:51 am

It has often been said to me, “Men will not save themselves from feminism -they will need to be rescued by women.”

It has taken too long to appreciate that while the face of feminism was equality its true ambition has always been superiority. The truth may be a shock to the delicate ears of the conservative politically apathetic kiwi male, along with the realization that men have slipped below the line of equality and our sons are now an optional extra in a women’s world.

In a society that professes gender neutral policy, but practices gender biased implementation, it is not hard to find marginalized men who often reach one of two diametrically opposed extremes – a state of suicidal tendency, or righteous indignation. That is simply not an attractive destination for the same young men.



Filed under: General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 9:19 am

Parents for Children are asking you to give special consideration to how you cast your party vote at the 2005 general election.

Children have a right to be supported and parented by both parents working together for their children’s best interests. Yet the pleas of parents separated from their children, for shared parenting and a fair and reasonable child support system, have fallen on the deaf ears of successive Labour and National led governments. Many parents have reached the conclusion that Labour and National politicians will only act to support reform if they know that it will cost them party votes at the general election.

You can make a big difference for kiwi kids by the way you cast your party vote. National and Labour want your party vote, give this to them and they will do nothing to implement a fair and reasonable child support system and real reform of family law.

Parents For Children is asking you to VOTEWISE05 : To give your party vote, at the 2005 general election, to a party that advocates fair and reasonable child support and real family law reform. It’s a powerful message to Labour and National that our kids do matter and a simple action for you to take.

Email Helen Clark and Don Brash telling them that you are going to VOTEWISE05!

Your party vote can make a difference — VOTEWISE05. Send the message to Labour and National that ignoring our kid’s right to be parented and supported by both parents does carry a political cost, your party vote.

Please forward this email message to others you know that may support VOTEWISE05.

For further information on VOTEWISE05 visit the Parents for Children website or email votewise05@gmail.com.

VOTEWISE05 at the 2005 general election!

Tue 17th May 2005

Family break-up – a King Hit for Opposition?

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:06 pm

A New Zealand Herald columnist Sandra Paterson may last week have been the messenger with bad news the Labour-led Government does not want at the forefront of news coverage in coming weeks.

It was nothing as riveting as a Ministerial resignation in the face of verbal fire from the opposition; nor an administrative scandal of bigger than NCEA proportions. But it went to the heart of middle New Zealand unease about the reformist social programme the Helen Clark’s administration has run since first assuming office.

The documents were, the column said, written by Kay Goodger, now a senior adviser in the Ministry of Social Development.

In them Goodger wrote, the column said: “Coercive family laws should be abolished….the rearing, social welfare and education of children should become the responsibility of society rather than individual parents.

“The famiily distorts all human relationships by imposing on them the framework of economic compulsion, social dependence and sexual repression. Our goal must be to create economic and social institutions that are superior to the present family.”

More than that, it gave substance to John Tamihere’s ramblings in Investigate magazine on the demerits of Clark’s administration.

is it the social strategy that mainstream middle New Zealand would want followed? Is it what Maori want? Is it what Pacific Islanders want? Is it what Asian New Zealanders want? Each of these societies within the New Zealand population mix has the family at the centre of daily life. Overthrow of family life by actions of the state is hardly a concept of government likely to fit well with these sections of the community.

Scoop understands that Kay Goodger – the subject of this article and the article by Ms Paterson – considers the content of the original New Zealand Herald column to be defamatory and to contain significant factual errors.

Letter from Elsewhere: Joe McCarthy Lives

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:57 pm

Joe McCarthy Lives — Right Here in New Zealand

Last week Ian Wishart, Tamihere’s interviewer, and Sandra Paterson, who gets published in the New Zealand Herald, both wrote articles about how a woman called Kay Goodger and a pamphlet published in 1974, was, they claimed, linked to women in the Labour government. “In short,” wrote Wishart, “an agenda written by an offshoot of the Communist Party in 1973 has been met in full by the women it infiltrated the Labour Party and public service with all those years ago.”

How did they come up with this story? It’s quite easy if you know how.

I don’t know who the little old lady was. But in 1998, one Barbara Faithful gave an interview on Access Radio (online at www.menz.org.nz/MENZ%20Issues/1999/May%2099/may99.htm#Barbara). By a remarkable coincidence, she told an approving John Potter of Menz all about the 1974 publication of what she called a “landmark submission” by the “Trotskyist (Cuba-aligned) Socialist Action League (SAL, now Communist League)”, using some of the same quotes as last week’s articles.

For anyone who knows anything about the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1950s or the current witch-hunts under Bush, this is where it gets truly frightening.

Joe Stalin and Joe McCarthy both used very similar tactics. But I didn’t expect to see them being used in New Zealand in 2005.

Sun 15th May 2005

The Burden of Proof – Peter Ellis

Filed under: Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 10:02 pm

Early last month, convicted child molester Peter Ellis suffered a heart attack.

Ellis may be a chain smoker who is partial to red meat and the odd tipple, but the most probable cause of his condition appears to be stress. Ellis has waited nearly two years for a select committee to decide whether to recommend a Royal Commission of Inquiry into his 1992 conviction of multiple counts of child abuse. His case is almost unanimously regarded as the greatest miscarriage of justice this country has seen since Arthur Allan Thomas. Peter Ellis has been waiting a long, long time for justice, and at the rate things are going, time may be running out.

Is the Government ever going to swallow its pride and vindicate Peter Ellis, or are they happy to sit back and wait for history to repeat itself?

Here is the rest of an extensive article about the Peter Ellis and the Cristchurch Creche Case by Anthony Frith.

Net brides lured and abused by Bay men

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 5:55 pm

White, middle-aged Western Bay men are luring poverty-stricken internet brides from overseas by lying about their income and occupation – and then using the women as virtual slaves after they arrive.

Tauranga Women’s Refuge currently has five internet brides in abusive relationships on its books – two Americans, one South American, one Polynesian and one from Thailand – and has dealt with a total of at least 10 in the past year.

Those numbers did not account for those who were too afraid to come forward.

The refuge estimates that in general three-quarters of internet brides have been sexually abused.

To escape their marriages and stay in the country, women must prove domestic violence or police involvement in their case which was a slow and difficult process, Miss McLean said.

Miss McLean is outraged the marriages are still legal and wants a blanket ban on them.

New Zealand law currently allows internet brides to be “purchased”. Once married, these women often depend on their husbands to stay in this country legally.

But under the Department of Labour’s “victims of domestic violence” policy, women can apply for special permits to stay in New Zealand without sponsorship if they can prove police intervention or domestic violence.

Five such applications have been approved for the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel since 2001. One application has been approved so far this year.

Police family violence co-ordinator Detective Jason Perry was not aware of any reported cases of internet bride abuse in the Bay. “I’m sure it does go on but there’s nothing that has come to our attention. We know it’s out there but these people are more likely to go to those social services.”

Berlei Champagne in the Park for Women’s Refuge

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 10:59 am

As you’d expect, there’s big support for champagne in the park — thanks to bra-maker Berlei that is. Berlei Champagne in the Park is a series of four national, women-only charity fun runs on November 14 to raise funds for NZ Women’s Refuge. Model and celebrity Nicky Watson is the ‘face’ of the fund-raiser.

And she’s getting plenty of help from celebrity friends Peggy Bourne, Mayoress Diana Hubbard, Fiona McDonald, Stacey Daniels and Pauline Gillespie who are getting behind the event to help raise awareness. Supporting them all is Berlei, with a special Nicky Watson-endorsed NZ Women’s Refuge fundraising sports bra sold exclusively in Farmers stores. For every one of the bras sold — at an entirely reasonable $34.95 — Berlei is donating $5 to the Women’s Refuge. The fun runs — in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin — comprise a 5km run or walk followed by the Berlei Champagne Breakfast and Prize-giving.

National co-ordinator for NZ Women’s Refuge, Roma Balzer, says Berlei Champagne in the Park is an extraordinary event. “We have received wonderful support from both the community and a number of high profile New Zealanders publicly demonstrating their commitment to stopping violence against women and children in this country.

Taxman’s rules: Father until proven innocent

Filed under: Child Support — JohnPotter @ 10:53 am

Ross Hill opens bills with what has become a familiar dread.

There are the standard accounts – power, phone, credit card. And then, inevitably, the letter from the IRD, demanding $220 a month in child support for an 11-year-old Australian girl he has never met.

The letters started coming 15 months ago, but since then Hill has come no closer to verifying whether he is the girl’s father, or even establishing contact with the girl and her mother.

Hill never knew of the girl until the first letter arrived in February last year, saying the IRD would collect his payments on behalf of Australia’s Child Support Agency (CSA).

While he admits having a relationship with the girl’s mother years ago, Hill says he was in a residential rehabilitation centre at the time of conception. He has been trying for more than a year to resolve the paternity issue through a DNA test, saying he would happily pay for child support if it showed he was the father.

But the CSA is refusing to review its position and consider a DNA test unless Hill can produce records showing he was in the centre at the time – records he says appear to have been lost.

Hill says the CSA is now asking for more than $7000 – and any possibility of arranging a DNA test of his own accord is hampered by the CSA’s refusal to give him the woman’s contact details.

Hill’s lawyer, Gary Clarke, said the situation was frustrating and unfair.

“It seems to me (the system) is considerably weighted in favour of a woman,” he said. “They can assess a man for child support on the say-so of a woman, yet he can’t get it reviewed unless he can provide records showing otherwise.”

Sat 14th May 2005

Police chase woman for false rape complaint costs

Filed under: Law & Courts — triassic @ 1:53 pm

NZ Herald 14/5/05

Police are seeking nearly $5000 from a woman they claim wasted their time over a false rape complaint.

The case highlights a dilemma for police, who do not want to discourage women from reporting sexual abuse.

But they say that when an accusation is blatantly untrue, they will lay a charge of making a false complaint and seek reparation for investigation costs.

Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Middleton, of the Manukau Crime Squad, said that of 75 sexual complaints in his area since Christmas, about 10 were believed fake.

“But we would only charge them with making a false complaint where the complaint was clearly false,” he said.

A handful of women have faced prosecution.

One claimed she had been kidnapped, raped and locked in the boot of a car.

Police sought reparation from her to cover about 40 hours of police time at $80 an hour, plus medical expenses, which can be up to $1500.

In the current case, which has yet to come to court, it is understood police want the woman to pay for more that 50 hours of officers’ time plus medical expenses.

Mr Middleton said detectives sometimes interviewed women who spun a web of lies to “cover up indiscretions” or simply to seek publicity.

He said police took complaints of this “abhorrent crime” very seriously, but false complaints were “not acceptable”.

This report leaves a lot of unanswered questions for me…… the most important being “where is the victims story here?” The police do a job and get paid regardless, however the poor bastard who gets labled with a false rape allegation can have his life destroyed. Waisting police time is a minor offence in comparison. As all men are rapists I suppose I am just being a bit sensitive.

Feminist agenda reaches fruition

Filed under: General — triassic @ 1:39 pm

There is a little old lady in Auckland with whom Helen Clark would not be very pleased. If she knew who she was, that is.

Back in the 1970s, when the little old lady was much younger, she used to go to feminist meetings. Not because she was a feminist, but because she and her husband were concerned at the sorts of things being discussed.

“So I would go off to all these meetings around the country to monitor what was going on,” she says. “I remember there was an outcry at one conference because a woman had brought along her baby son. He wasn’t wanted in the room because he was a male.”

She also remembers many of the women who attended or addressed these events, among them Helen Clark, Sylvia Cartwright, Marilyn Waring, Cath Tizard, Ros Noonan and Margaret Wilson.

For decades she has watched as the young feminists of the 70s became some of the most powerful leaders in New Zealand. And for decades she held on to a couple of documents which outlined, all those years ago, a long-term feminist agenda to change New Zealand society by attacking the traditional family unit.

Conference to tackle children’s rights

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:13 am

How can we help children and young people increase their participation in society so they and everyone else might benefit from their input into decision-making processes?

This is one of the key issues to be discussed at a major conference running from July 7 to 9 at the University of Otago. Children and Young People as Citizens: Participation, Provision and Protection is the sixth Child and Family Conference run by the Children’s Issues Centre, which is based at the University.

The international speakers are Bruce Smyth from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, who will talk about encouraging more creative post-divorce parenting arrangements that meet the needs of children and parents; and Dr Ruth Sinclair, Research Director at the UK National Children’s Bureau, who will present on the English experience of children’s participation in public life.

The other New Zealand keynote speakers include Principal Family Court Judge, Hon Peter Boshier, who will look at how the Care of Children Act 2004 will affect children’s participation and protection rights in court cases.

Fri 13th May 2005

Girls better in every subject

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education — JohnPotter @ 10:25 am

Girls have out-performed boys in every school subject and low male achievement is spurring concern.

Secondary school NCEA results were released yesterday by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

The profiles show a growing gap between girls’ and boys’ achievement, and suggest children might be better off in single-sex schools.

Girls-only schools dominate all NCEA levels. Their pass rates are far above the national average.

Wellington High School principal Prue Kelly was not surprised.

English was particularly geared toward girls and many of the topics did not interest boys, she said.

“Analysing characters and having to think about why an author wrote what is often of no interest to boys.”

Education Ministry learning policy manager Steve Benson said the gender gap was a big issue. A research project was under way to address boys’ under-achievement but there were no easy answers.

Others had suggested the problem lay behind typical Kiwi attitudes to masculinity, with boys more interested in rugby than study.

Wed 11th May 2005

Counsel services for men planned

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:56 am

As part of a comprehensive overhaul of the [Australian] family law regime, scores of new services for men will be funded in a $74 million prevention package.

Mensline Australia will get a big funding boost to support more fathers and to help them become more involved with their children before and after separation.

Up to 45 new “men and family relationship centres” will be funded to help men manage difficult relationships with partners, ex-partners and children.

The extra services are part of a $392 million family law reform plan, which has at its heart a radically different system for handling separation and custody.

Instead of heading to the Family Court, separating parents will be sent to one of 65 new Family Relationship Centres to see if they can agree on a custody plan for their children before they engage lawyers.

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