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6:43PM Wednesday February 04, 2009
Source: Newstalk ZB
The brothers who abused and murdered Rotorua girl Nia Glassie will spend at least 17-and-a half years behind bars.
Michael and Wiremu Curtis were on Wednesday sentenced for the three-year-old's murder.
They came into court almost casually, adults who inflicted unthinkable cruelty onto a child.
From the public gallery, people called out for them to rot in hell. In reply, Michael Curtis could be heard barking as he left court, a Mongrel Mob fighting call.
"Good job, chuck the key away. They don't deserve to live. Give them exactly what they gave the baby," says Piki Rapana, Nia's aunty.
The sentencing judge, Justice Judith Potter, told the guilty five that Nia Glassie had no-one to fight in her corner.
The judge sentenced the two brothers who had kicked Nia Glassie's head in to life imprisonment and a 17-and-a-half year non parole period.
"The ill-treatment of this child sent waves of shock horror and disbelief through the community in New Zealand. So it rightly should," she said.
Lisa Kuka, the mother who turned a blind eye to the violence, was sentenced to nine years in jail for manslaughter.
"Lisa Kuka was the only person Nia could look too for protection and she failed utterly," said Justice Potter.
"I don't' think the public would accept anything other than a stiff penalty," says Panama Le'au'anae, Kuka's lawyer.
Nia Glassie suffered months and months of misery. She was kicked in the head, put in a clothes drier which was turned on, had wrestling moves performed on her and was flung off a clothesline before her short life ended in Starship Hospital in August 2007.
The Curtis brothers turned against her because she was ugly.
Wiremu Curtis's lawyer, Craig Horsley says his client is sorry for what he did to Nia and has to live with it.
Making up the pack who tormented her were two others who were found guilty of assault.
Michael Curtis's girlfriend Oriwa Kemp was was sentenced to just over three years in jail and Nia's cousin, Michael Pearson will spend three years behind bars for his part in the torture of the three-year-old.
1 Comment 227 weeks
August 22, 2008, 5:35 pm
A postal referendum will be held on anti-smacking laws after parliamentary officials confirmed a petition calling for the ballot had enough valid signatures.
Clerk of the House Mary Harris said an audit of the petition found that about 310,000 of the 390,000 signatures were valid.
To trigger a referendum, 10 percent of registered voters (285,000) need to sign it.
Petition organiser Larry Baldock said the vote should be held in conjunction with the election.
The Government has ruled this out, saying it would best be held as a postal ballot next year.
Ministers cited advice from electoral officials that the last time a referendum was held it had confused voters, slowed down the count and to so again would be a logistical nightmare.
They said there was little difference in cost between holding a postal ballot separately and the extra resources need to run a referendum on election day.
Ms Harris said the petition would be presented to Parliament on August 26 and the Government had one month to name a date for a referendum or say a postal ballot will be held.
The vote must be held within a year of its presentation to Parliament.
After the petition announcement, Justice Minister Annette King confirmed the Goverment was planning a postal ballot which would take place midway through 2009.
Mr Baldock said Prime Minister Helen Clark was trying to avoid the smacking laws becoming an election issue, but this would not work.
Mr Baldock, who is also the leader of the Kiwi Party, said today's announcement was "great news and a huge victory" that had taken far more effort than should be needed in a democracy.
When the petition was originally presented in February, there were 324,316 signatures, but many were ruled out during a checking process and the final tally was 269,500.
Organisers had another two months to gather more signatures.
The referendum will ask the question -- `Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand ?"
The legislation, which was drafted by Green MP Sue Bradford, amended section 59 of the Crimes Act to remove the defence of reasonable force for parents who physically discipline their children.
It was backed by Labour and eventually National supported the legislation after an amendment gave police discretion to judge whether a reported offence warranted prosecution.
2 Comments 251 weeks
The 17-year-old mother of a baby found dead in Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty had hidden her pregnancy from her family
11 August 2008.
Tauranga police investigating the death of a newborn baby have confirmed the child's mother had concealed her pregnancy.
The baby girl was found dead at a rural property in Te Puke on Friday. Her mother is 17-years-old.
Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross says the teenager had hidden her pregnancy from her entire family. He says a full statement will be made later in the morning on the circumstances surrounding the case.
A post mortem examination has been carried out and family members have been interviewed.
6 Comments 252 weeks
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Participants are needed for an online research study developing a computerized survey of quality of family relationships and relational traumatic events.0 Replies 155 weeks
Participants of at least 18 years of age are needed. Participation will involve completing the computerized survey as well as additional standard surveys and interviews.
To participate, please access by web: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CARTS
HEY ALL,0 Replies 193 weeks
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I found this comment on the1 Reply 227 weeks
Masculinist Evolution New Zealand - promoting a clearer understanding of men's experience - site
The link is above.
This man makes a VERY VERY valid point.
"I have heard several men complain that their complaints to CYFs regarding the safety of their children, in the care of the children’s mother, were not listened to by CYFs.
There were two young Aplin? girls living near to Palmerston North, who were murdered by their step father, in their mother’s house. In this case CYFs denied that they had received complaints over at least a 6 months period, from the father. The father later produced telephone bills, showing when the calls were made and how long they lasted. CYFs then retracted, saying that they had got their records mixed up. It sounded awfully as though CYFs had dismissed the father’s complaints, without in any way at all investigating them.
I have known of several fathers who had been denied contact with their children, by the mother refusing to obey or honour familycaught orders. The familycaught steadfastly refused to enforce orders that it had made!
Later, when the mother’s care had come into question, after complaints by teachers or neighbours, social workers were looking at the chidren’s extended family for possible carers. They considered - apparently as a matter of personal judgement (incidentally outside the written CYFs statute law!) - that the fathers are not part of the family. It seems that they were able to make this assessment without even talking to the fathers in any way! Essentially, they were accepting the mother’s assessment of the father!, the same mother that they were now removing the children from!!!!!
Someone in the mother’s family told the father that CYFs were making these enquiries, about who was available to care for the children?
The father contacted CYFs, but was told he wouldn’t even be considered.
I am not saying that all social workers behave in this way. The erratic unpredictability results from the lack of relevant training of many social workers. These decisions are effectively random gambling with children’s lives.
I guess this reflects the lack of relevant professional training possessed by these social workers. Although several judicial enquiries have pressed the Government to recruit properly trained social workers, as fast as they have recruited suitably trained staff, they have lost the same number somewhere else.
Practically - no progress has been made!
Unfortunately, it seems that the general voting public are more concerned about tax cuts, than they are about the quality of decisions being made, about removing children from families. Maybe we remove about the right number of children - it’s just that we seem to remove children who should not have been removed and fail to remove children who need to be removed to keep them alive.
To add insult to injury, some of the removed children are killed, by caregivers chosen by CYFs.
This alone shows the lack of decision making ability within CYFs. Boldly painted in red letters.
While “judges” have been calling for better qualified social workers, it is notable that our NZ appointed “judges” are not professionally or relevantly trained as judges!
We follow the British style, of appointing lawyers, to then act as judges.
Anyway, please don’t die laughing, as children’s lives are being extinguished for no good reason. One day, one of them might be your own child or your own grandchild.
Standing by, making complaints that are clearly just being ignored, is extremely disheartening and soul destroying. Then to have to face the preventable death of your child must be one of the cruelest ways we could ever treat any parent.
All that I can say to a father trapped in this situation is “document your complaint as well as you can and send it into CYFs. Maybe, do this 2 or 3 times over several months. Then, try to stand back and h