Primary kids told ‘don’t come back’

first_imgNZ Herald 1 Feb 2012Nearly 2000 primary school children were sent home last year following serious disciplinary matters – including 75 whose behaviour was so bad they were told not to bother returning. In many cases the disciplinary action was a last resort by desperate principals – not designed to teach the child a lesson but to get help for them or protect other students following violent, antisocial and occasionally sexually motivated behaviour. Figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act reveal that in the 11 months to November more than 21,000 school students faced serious disciplinary action. Of those, 1874 were aged under 10 – including 170 5- and 6-year-olds – and 75 were banned from returning to their school after going before the board of trustees for a disciplinary hearing….Of the 1874 primary school cases in the year to November, 1602 children were stood down for up to five days before being allowed to return. A further 197 were suspended, usually indicating more serious behaviour, until they could go before the board of trustees. Of those students, the behaviour of 75 was so bad that they were formally excluded from the school – meaning they had to re-enroll at another school. While the figures provided for last year were incomplete, the numbers were on a par with 10 years ago. In 2001, 1963 primary-aged students faced serious disciplinary action. read more

Is TV damaging our kids’ brains?

first_imgBay of Plenty Times 11 June 2012Children under 3 should not be watching any television and those up to 7 should be limited to 30 minutes a day, says a Bay of Plenty child pyschotherapist. Parents are jeopardising their children’s futures, Augustina Driessen says, by allowing them to vegetate in front of the television for hours a day. Mrs Driessen believed up to 75 per cent of children could be suffering problems associated with media overload. She said children were becoming monosyllabic and introverted through addiction to television, and urged parents not to take the easy option.Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, agrees. “One of our major concerns is that the 8.30pm watershed for families is just a farce. There is sexual content, foul language and sexual innuendo in programmes as early as 5.30pm. Also adult-rated programmes are being promoted during the kids’ viewing times, which is simply wrong. There have been plenty of studies which show the adverse affects on children of prolonged exposure to violence and sexual content. “TVs in bedrooms are just asking for trouble. Would you let an adult sit and talk, unsupervised, to your child about absolutely anything? No, yet we let TV do it. We shouldn’t let TV be the babysitter.” Mr McCoskrie, who has a home in Mount Maunganui, said television could open children up to new areas of learning but asked at what cost. “TV can give opportunities, that’s agreed, but I think the question I would ask is what are children giving up when they are sat in front of a TV? They’re missing out on playing outside, reading books, doing homework, being creative, getting fit and interacting with other people, person-to-person, face-to-face.” But Geoff Lealand, associate professor of screen and media studies at Waikato University, said concentrating on television could blind people to more important issues. “Worrying excessively about the alleged effects of television often deflects attention from more significant factors in children’s lives, such as poverty, poor nutrition, inadequate parenting and that can be a problem.” read more

Mother charged with baby’s murder

first_imgDominion Post 19 Sep 2012A young mother has been charged with murder after her newborn baby girl was found dead and wrapped in a towel in the Hutt Valley.A 21-year-old Taita woman was charged last night after her baby girl, thought to be less than a day old, was discovered by a woman who was hanging out washing on her Taita Drive property on Monday morning last week.Police are now trying to establish the identity of the father.“The circumstances surrounding the baby girl’s tragic death have been fully investigated by police,” Hutt Valley tactical response manager Inspector Shane Cotter said.“Part of the investigation has been to determine the identity of the father of this baby. We believe we know who this man is, but we are awaiting DNA results to confirm paternity.”He would not say whether the man would face charges in relation to the baby’s death. read more

Palliative sedation a ‘peaceful way to die’

first_imgChristchurch Press 17 Sep 2012Within 10 minutes of having her first dose of sedative, Col Pieper’s terminally-ill mother drifts to sleep. A medication pump is set up to continuously give her the sedative midazolam to ensure she stays asleep until she dies. Three and a half days later, she dies peacefully, as she had chosen. Pieper, a West Coast-based registered nurse, says her mother had originally wanted to be euthanised, but switched her thinking only weeks from death once she learned about palliative sedation. She could choose because she lived in the Netherlands, one of a few countries in the world to legalise euthanasia. The euthanasia debate has reignited in New Zealand with Labour MP Maryan Street’s End of Life Choice private member’s bill, which she lodged in the ballot box in July. It must be selected before it can be considered by Parliament. Late last month, Prime Minister John Key faced strong criticism from the medical profession after claiming euthanasia was happening in our hospitals and that he would consider it if terminally ill. Hospice New Zealand’s clinical director, Associate Professor Sandy Macleod, says Key was incorrectly informed but agrees the public has little knowledge of other end-of-life options, such as palliative sedation. “In euthanasia, you are trying to kill the person. In palliative sedation, you are trying to kill the intractable symptoms,” Macleod says. “There are plenty of options other than killing people that we have at our disposal.” Palliative sedation is quite common practice in New Zealand hospices when someone is within days of death and suffering distressing, uncontrollable symptoms, such as delirium or extreme breathlessness, he says. A Christchurch study found a quarter of people dying at the city’s hospice had palliative sedation, he says. In the Netherlands, medical guidelines state a terminally-ill person must be within two weeks of death and suffering unbearable symptoms that are unrelieved by treatment to qualify for palliative sedation. While no such formal guidelines exist in New Zealand, it is discussed in the Palliative Care Handbook. read more

Family First appeals against deregistration

first_imgNZ Herald 27 May 2013Family First has lodged a High Court appeal against the removal of its charitable status – a decision the group has blamed on a single complaint which coincided with the same-sex marriage debate.The Charities Registration Board earlier this month ruled Family First’s main purpose was political, rather than charitable, and that it would lose its charitable status unless it appealed by today.An appeal was lodged in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon, which means the group can remain on the charities register until the outcome of the appeal.Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the group had been de-registered because of its views on gay marriage, which was legalised by Parliament last month.He said the “highly politicised” decision to remove its charitable status followed an investigation sparked by a single complaint on August 28 last year – the day before same-sex marriage legislation was given its first reading in Parliament.The two-sentence complaint, released to Family First under the Official Information Act, said the group was “a religious based pressure group” with the sole purpose of preventing human rights for non-heterosexual people.Mr McCoskrie said the board’s decision was an abuse of power which showed government groups were being used to enforce an ideology.He said the board had investigated only one charity which opposed Family First’s views, and that group was still registered.“The Charities Registration Board should be consistent – but it’s quite evident that it’s not, and is using isolated complaints by disgruntled people to muzzle groups who challenge the prevailing politically correct view.” First fights for charity status3 News 27 May 2013 First to appeal deregistrationONE News 27 May 2013Family First New Zealand says it will appeal a decision that will soon see it deregistered as a charity. read more

Internet Mana told to remove ‘f*** you John Key’ ad

first_imgOneNews 15 August 2014The Internet Mana Party has been asked to remove an advertisement which features a crowd chanting “f*** John Key” from YouTube.Family First NZ complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the party’s Join the Revolution ad, and the Authority has upheld the complaint.The Internet Mana Party was advised about the decision on Wednesday, and was asked to take down the clip.The video was still on YouTube this morning. If the clip is not removed the Authority will then ask YouTube to remove it.Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First, said the party had “dragged political debate to a new low level” with the ad.“A political advertisement which simply denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion doesn’t belong in any election campaign,” he says.“Political parties should show social responsibility and observe taste and decency – especially as they seek to engage families in the political campaign.” Mana sanitises rally video after ASA ruling3News 15 August 2014Internet Mana has toned down its controversial political rally video in which a crowd of young people chant ‘F*** John Key”.Christian lobby group Family First’s national director Bob McCoskrie complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the clip, filmed at the party’s Christchurch event last month.The complaint said the video was “dragging political debate to a new low level”.“This advertisement simply denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion,” Mr McCoskrie says.The authority upheld the complaint, saying the personal nature of the video was a “significant issue” for the Complaints Board.“The Complaints Board agreed that political parties as organisations should be prepared for robust expression of opinion from all voters which may take a range of forms. However, the Complaints Board unanimously agreed the use of a strong expletive with the name of the leader of a political party, packaged into an advertisement calling for a change in Government, was likely to offend against generally prevailing community standards,” the decision reads.It says the video went “beyond what was acceptable”. footage read more

Nelson City Council sticking with status quo on Easter Trading

first_imgStuff 15 December 2016Family First Comment: Another good decisionEaster Sunday will stay shopping-spree free next year, with Nelson City Council voting to keep stores closed.Nelson City Councillors voted at a meeting on Thursday to retain the status quo, meaning Nelson stores will not be allowed to trade on Easter Sunday, except for those businesses with exemptions under the Shop Trading Hours Act.The Government changed the law in September giving regional authorities the power to decide on Easter trading in their areas.The staff recommendation to Nelson councillors was not to pursue an Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy.The Tasman District Council also voted in favour of the status quo earlier this month.READ MORE: read more

Teen birth rate in New Zealand half of 2008 figure

first_imgNZ Herald 16 May 2017Family First Comment: Family Planning say that a drop of 33% down to 24% for sexual involvement is a ‘small drop’! Really? Are they worried that youth are ignoring them and are – shock horror – abstaining??The teenage birth rate in New Zealand has halved since 2008, according to new figures released today.Statistics New Zealand data showed the teen birth rate had dropped each year since 2008 when it was 33 births per 1000 women aged 15 to 19. Last year the rate dropped to 16 births per 1000 women in that age group.In 1962, when birth rates were highest for women in their twenties, the teen birth rate was 54 births per 1000. While rates dropped for women in their twenties throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the teen rate increased to a peak of 69 per 1000 in 1972.Within the 15-19 age group, birth rates increased with age last year – from 2 per 1000 at age 15 to 35 at age 19. All ages in this group had significantly lower rates in 2016 than in 2008.Just 4 per cent of the 59,430 births in 2016 were to teen mums, compared with 8 per cent of births in 2008.Family First NZ has welcomed the drop in New Zealand’s teen birth rate.National Director of Family First NZ Bob McCoskrie said he believed the drop was because their message to abstain from or postpone sexual involvement was getting through.“There is also evidence that the drop is because more and more teenagers are delaying sex. According to the Youth 2012 survey undertaken by Auckland University, the proportion of students who reported ever having had sex was similar in 2001 and 2007 (approximately a third) but was lower in 2012 – down to 24 per cent. And less than 19 per cent said they were currently sexually active,” he said.“Groups like Family Planning will argue that it is because of contraception and the morning-after pill that the teen pregnancy rate has dropped but the evidence refutes that claim. The Youth Survey showed that contraception use had not improved over the last 10 years, and in fact sexually active teens are being riskier with a 7 per cent decrease in the use of condoms between 2007 and 2012.“And a US study found increased access to emergency contraception increases the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, risk taking and a false sense of security, while doing nothing to reduce the number of abortions. A study in the Journal of Health Economics in January 2011, conducted in the United Kingdom, found that widespread access to emergency contraception did nothing to reduce pregnancy but increased STD rates by 12 per cent.”Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond said young people delaying their first sexual encounter may have been a factor but said the small drop in the number of students who reported having sex in the Youth 2012 survey did not explain the huge decrease in the rate of teen pregnancies.“It’s probably a mixture of things. There’s no definitive evidence of what it is,” she said when asked why the number of teen pregnancies had dropped.She said increased access to more reliable contraception like IUDs and other implants was likely to be part of the reason.“Often it’s human error which is the cause of failure of contraceptives,” she said.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Athletics: Abortion still haunts track star

first_imgNZ Herald 29 October 2017Family First Comment: Another powerful article in the NZ Herald on abortion!“The procedure itself is described in her book fleetingly, but unflinchingly. “All of the crying left me so numb that I barely remember the cold instruments as they brushed against my skin,” she writes. “It was quick, but it felt like an eternity. Abortion would now forever be a part of my life, a scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear.” Nine years on, she remembers, all too vividly. “I was just mentally broken,” she says. “At that point, it was more of a spiritual race than a physical one. It was incredibly hard for me, as I know it is for a lot of women. You feel this unworthiness, this shame.” Her eyes glisten momentarily. “It still gets me, even now.””http://www.ChooseLife.nzIn the affluent oasis of Round Rock, Texas, 32km north of downtown Austin, Sanya Richards-Ross wakes to an autumnal morning seemingly without a care in the world.The sky is a deep and rejuvenating blue. Her husband, Aaron Ross, a former cornerback for the New York Giants, is happily retired with two Super Bowl triumphs.Their two-month-old son, Aaron II – they call him Dewcey – has just had a nursery built and is starting to show off his first smile.Until recently, Richards-Ross was known primarily as the 400m champion at the 2012 London Olympics, an elegant and graceful athlete whose personal best has not been beaten by any woman in the world for 12 years.But courtesy of her memoir, and one incendiary chapter in particular, she has become identified as a trailblazer of a quite different kind, having disclosed that at the zenith of her running career, she had an abortion.In this age of compulsive social-media use, few intimate revelations have the capacity to shock any longer.But Richards-Ross’ story is one that has resonated far and wide. Abortion is a taboo so entrenched that when she discovered she was pregnant just weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she and her partner had a telephone call where neither of them could bear to utter the word out loud.READ MORE: read more