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Once Were Warriors

Once Were Warriors

The movie, Once Were Warriors, shocked us with its vivid account of family and street violence, says Emma Davies of the Children and Families programme of the Institute of Public Policy at AUT. Movie-goers around the world saw an ugly side of life in New Zealand, she says.

The opening in Christchurch on the 2nd of March, nine years after the movie, of a musical production of Once Were Warriors raises the question, 'What have we been doing about it since we lost any excuse that we didn't know about the violence in our midst?'

Jim Moriarty, the show's director, has been doing his bit. He works with young people, helping them to express themselves and find a strong identity through drama. He has invited organisations that work with families and young people to see the show and use it to publicise the need for reform in New Zealand.

What he and the organisations he has contacted particularly want is repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act of 1961. This is the section of the law that has been successfully used as a defence

NEXT... MORE... by people who have beaten children. Ian Hassall, Senior Researcher with the Institute of Public Policy, says similar laws have been repealed in many other countries concerned about condoning violence in the home.

Information on repeal and how to register interest in taking action will be available at the shows, he says. A website has been established at http://feedback.aut.ac.nz/repealsection59

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