Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Stronger Sentences For Child Tormentors Needed

Stronger Sentences For Child Tormentors Needed

The government has been urged to introduce legislation that will allow judges to impose tougher sentences for violent crimes against children.

Executive Director of For the Sake of Our Children Trust, Christine Rankin, has made the call following the sentencing this week of Invercargill man Raniera Wairau to four years in prison.

Wairau twisted the legs and left arm of his two-week-old baby boy, Ihaka, so forcefully he broke them. Ihaka also suffered four fractured ribs and screamed when he was moved. Doctors said the injuries could have been life threatening.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Constable Scott McKenzie, described Ihaka’s injuries as horrific and said they represented the worst case of child abuse he had dealt with.

“This is an appalling case,” says Ms Rankin. “Four years for torturing a child simply is not good enough.

“It sends a message that we do not value or care for our at-risk children.

“It’s time judges were given the power to sentence terrible crimes such as this in a more appropriate manner.”

Ms Rankin says the case of little Ihaka is another illustration of New Zealand’s shameful child abuse statistics.

It’s estimated 10 children die a year at the hands of their caregivers. Of 27 OECD countries, New Zealand is the third worst for child deaths.

And according to the Ministry of Social Development’s 2005 social report, there are 20 reported cases of child abuse and neglect every day.

“Children are innocent and look to adults for protection,” says Ms Rankin. “But the terrible fact is that many of those people who should be providing that care and love, are the ones who are maiming and killing our babies.

“How many other children must suffer before we finally do something about this epidemic?”

Ms Rankin says ordinary people should not feel powerless.

“Anyone can lobby their MP,” she says. “It’s time all of us acted to force change.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election