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Labour pledges to push for same-sex adoption

first_imgNZ Herald 14 Oct 2011The Labour Party will legalise adoption for gay and lesbian people under its new “Rainbow Issues” policy – an issue the Prime Minister has put on the backburner, saying it is not a priority.The Labour Party policy was released this week, including a promise to modernise the law “to ensure the widest pool of suitable adults is lawfully available to provide care to children in need”.Labour MP Charles Chauvel said there was a misperception same-sex couples could adopt, when that was not the case under the Adoption Act 1955. The new stance confirmed as formal party policy the private member’s bill by Labour MP Jacinda Ardern to allow same-sex adoption.Mr Chauvel said Labour would ask the Law Commission to consider the law and modernise it.Prime Minister John Key has consistently refused to change the law to allow same-sex adoptions, despite feting the gay community with annual appearances and dancing on the stage at the Big Gay Out. He has said it is not a priority during the economic downturn, given the low number of adoptions in NZ.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10758893last_img read more

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Group backs HPV shot recommendation for boys

first_imgReuters 27 Feb 2012Boys 11 years and up should get Merck & Co’s Gardasil vaccine to protect them against HPV infections, which can cause genital warts as well as oral, penile and anal cancers, the nation’s largest group of pediatricians said Monday.“What we are hoping will come out of this is that we can push this as a cancer vaccine,” said Dr. Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “We now have the ability to interrupt the transmission and the development of cancer.”The new statement leans on recommendations released last year by U.S. vaccine advisers and updates the previous stance of the AAP, which until now had only backed routine vaccination for girls.HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least half of all sexually active people will catch genital HPV at some point.The infection usually doesn’t cause any symptoms and goes away on its own. But certain types of the virus may cause genital warts and, rarely, cancer.It’s estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for 7,000 cases of cancer in men every year in the U.S. and 15,000 cases in women, most of them cervical cancers.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/27/us-hpv-shot-recommendation-boys-idUSTRE81Q0NZ20120227last_img read more

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Marriage is best for raising children, Government says

first_imgTelegraph (UK) 13 March 2012Iain Duncan Smith will make the Coalition’s most explicit official statement   in favour of parents marrying and staying together. He will say that children from such homes are most likely to end up with a   good education and a job…Marriage is particularly good for children, the paper says. The Government is   “concerned” by the long-term trend away from marriage, it says. Mr Duncan Smith will say the strategy marks a change in the approach to   marriage. Successive governments have done too little to promote stable   families, he will say….The command paper quotes evidence showing that “children tend to enjoy better   life outcomes when the same two parents give them support and protection”. Children who have experienced the breakdown of their parents’ relationship are   “more likely to have poor cognitive development and education and employment   outcomes than those who have lived with both birth parents”. “Outcomes” are better for children when parents stay together, the paper says.   Research shows that about one in three cohabiting couples splits up before a   child’s fifth birthday, compared with one in 10 married couples. “This Government believes marriage often provides an excellent environment in   which to bring up children,” it says. “The Government is clear that marriage   should be supported.” Mr Duncan Smith said he was not “lecturing” parents on how to live, merely   setting out the facts on the advantages of marriage and commitment.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9139483/Marriage-is-best-for-raising-children-Government-says.htmllast_img read more

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Marriage bill: MPs urged to consider social change

first_imgNewstalk ZB 28 Feb 2013Members of Parliament are being urged to carefully consider the magnitude of social change that’s before them when it comes to the Marriage Amendment Bill.A select committee is recommending the bill, which would change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, be passed.New Zealand Catholic Bishops are asking MPs if most New Zealanders want the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ removed from all marriage legislation.They say they’re committed to the understanding of marriage shared by societies for centuries – that it’s a committed relationship between a man and a woman with the potential to produce children.http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/16259902/marriage-bill-mps-urged-to-consider-social-change/last_img

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Child abuse on rise

first_imgBay of Plenty Times 7 June 2013As Waikato’s child abuse statistics rise Child, Youth and Family says it’s well prepared to respond to the demand.The latest statistics, released in April, show Waikato is on track to top more than 2000 cases of substantiated child abuse for the year ending June 30. The latest findings buck a trend of declining substantiated abuse cases in the Waikato.The number of substantiated abuse cases has been declining since the 2009 financial year when there were 2391 cases. That number has dropped annually with 1683 in the 2012 financial year.The half-yearly report documenting substantiated abuse for July-December last year was 1065, putting the region on track to almost eclipse figures from four years ago.CYF Midlands regional director Greg Versalko isn’t concerned at his organisation’s ability to cope with the increase in abuse cases.“I would be very concerned if I didn’t think we were prepared to respond to that demand. But I feel we are in a good position in that respect.”Mr Versalko said it was always difficult to determine the reasons for a spike in the number of substantiated abuse cases. He said it wasn’t necessarily that child abuse was increasing but that there was more discussion in the media which boosted reported cases. He said when there was increased discussion on child abuse, CYF saw an increase in demand for their services.http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/child-abuse-on-rise/1897590/last_img read more

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Multiple partners linked to drink

first_imgNZ Herald 4 September 2013Young adult drinkers dependent on the bottle are nearly 10 times more likely to have had 10 or more sexual partners within several years than people who don’t misuse alcohol, a new study shows.And they are nine times more likely to have committed violent offences.The study’s authors, including Dr Joseph Boden, estimate in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence that the elimination of all alcohol misuse could reduce the young adult crime rate by up to 47 per cent.The research, from Otago University at Christchurch, is based on interviews with around 1000 members of a long-term study who were born in the city in 1977.The alcohol study draws on answers from when they were aged 21, 25 and 30.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11119033One in 20 youth alcohol addictedStuff.co 4 September 2013In a country where teens are often in the firing line in the war against binge drinking, it appears the battle with the bottle does not stop at age 20.New research shows up to a quarter of New Zealanders aged 21 to 30 have a problem with alcohol affecting their daily lives, making them more susceptible to commit crime, inflict or be victims of violence, and contemplate suicide.The Christchurch Health and Development Study, a a 35-year study of a birth cohort of 1265 children born in the Christchurch region in mid-1977, is examining alcohol abuse in people in their 20s.Over the last 35 years, the participants have been interviewed at regular intervals.The new research is being welcomed by police, who say those in the age bracket are their ”biggest offenders”.http://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9123974/One-in-20-youth-alcohol-addictedlast_img read more

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Mozilla CEO resignation raises free-speech issues

first_imgOneNews 5 April 2014The resignation of Mozilla’s CEO amid outrage that he supported an anti-gay marriage campaign is prompting concerns about how Silicon Valley’s strongly liberal culture might quash the very openness that is at the region’s foundation.Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO, just days after his appointment. He left the nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser after furious attacks, largely on Twitter, over his $1,000 contribution to support of a now-overturned 2008 gay-marriage ban in California.“There was no interest in creating an internet lynch mob,” OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagun, whose dating service site was among those engaged in online protest, said. “I am opposed to that with every bone in my body.”But Eich’s abrupt departure has stirred the debate over the fairness of forcing out a highly qualified technology executive over his personal views and a single campaign contribution six years ago. And it raises questions about how far corporate leaders are allowed to go in expressing their political views.Some are also questioning whether the episode undercuts the well-groomed image of Silicon Valley as a marketplace of ideas and diversity of thought, and whether, in this case, the tech world surrendered to political correctness enforced through a public shaming on social media.http://tvnz.co.nz/technology-news/mozilla-ceo-resignation-raises-free-speech-issues-5886589last_img read more

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Reaching out to sex workers

first_imgABC News 14 March 2015Kate Connett is an outreach worker with Project Respect, but was formerly a sex worker herself. Lisa (not her real name) has been working in legal brothels in Victoria since she was 16.NORDIC MODEL AUSTRALIA COALITION (NORMAC)MEDIA RELEASENorMAC Welcomes Media Attention on Nordic ModelThe Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC) welcomes the recent ABC Lateline report on prostitution that highlighted the growing international shift to a Nordic Model of prostitution legislation.  The Nordic Model criminalises buyers of sex, not prostitutes, and prostitutes are assisted to exit the industry.Since forming in 2012, NorMAC has consistently lobbied Australia’s governments – both federal and state – the media and other institutions to engage with and listen to survivors of the sex industry.It was inspiring to hear the voice of prostitution survivor and Project Respect brothel outreach worker, Kate Connett, calling for a rethink of the legalisation and decriminalisation approaches to prostitution.  Kate spoke courageously of the exploitation she suffered as a prostitute, and how it now motivates her work with women still in prostitution.NorMAC was disappointed that the Scarlet Alliance ‘sex worker’ group representative, Jules Kim, refused to acknowledge the negative experiences of people in the sex industry. Ms Kim further denied that migrant women were disadvantaged in their ability to negotiate the transaction of sex, despite the Kirby Institute report from NSW noting that 46% of migrant women working in the sex industry rated their English language skills as fair or poor.NorMAC also strongly rejects Ms Kim’s claim that there is no link between prostitution and trafficking, and considers it part of an on-going campaign by the sex industry to ensure the voices of survivors of prostitution are silenced in the public.The Lateline program and the ensuing media discussion come at a crucial time for NorMAC, which is currently stepping up its campaign to introduce Nordic Model legislation on prostitution in Australia.NorMAC hosted its AGM for 2015 on 7th of March, and affirmed its position as the peak body advocating the introduction of Nordic model legislation. NorMAC is a secular group, with a focus on survivors of prostitution.The AGM appointed representatives for each Australian state.  Prostitution survivor Simone Watson is now the organisation’s director.For media comment, the director of NorMAC is available for contact.Simone Watson –Phone: 0477 448 164Email: admin@normac.org.aulast_img read more

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Terminally ill patients need relationships with carers – health advocate

first_imgRadio NZ News 17 January 2017Family First Comment: If we get this right, we remove the need for assisted suicide!“You need a relationship, a safe, trusting environment and a relationship with someone who knows you in order to start discussing end-of-life care. “And I know from many of the focus groups and the meetings I’ve attended on cancer services that a lot of people don’t get the kind of care and support.”A leading patient advocate is calling for more continuity of the carers who help those with a terminal illness.Aucklander Lynda Williams, a longtime staunch advocate for health consumers, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October last year.But she remains the spokesperson for the Auckland Women’s Health Council and has put out its regular newsletter while receiving chemotherapy and organising her affairs, including helping family members prepare for when she is no longer there.She is well known in health circles as an advocate on women’s issues, and for her evidence-based, forthright approach.She said being “bolshie” has served her well as a patient.“If I don’t get to see the same person I make a bit of a fuss. Given that it’s pancreatic cancer and I don’t have time to muck about I’m not at all backward in sticking up for myself and saying ‘this is what I need’.“You need a relationship, a safe, trusting environment and a relationship with someone who knows you in order to start discussing end-of-life care.“And I know from many of the focus groups and the meetings I’ve attended on cancer services that a lot of people don’t get the kind of care and support.”End-of-life and palliative care were under the spotlight last year as Parliament’s health committee considered a petition seeking legislation to facilitate voluntary euthanasia under certain circumstances.Ms Williams said end-of-life care was an area where New Zealand needed to do better.“I think it’s absolutely vital that people facing the end of their life have access to that kind of care.“We’ve got a long way to go and there’s not a lot of informed consent going on in some of these services either.”This mirrors the views of former health and disability commissioner Ron Paterson, who said informed consent was often more honoured in the breach.READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/322545/terminally-ill-patients-need-relationships-with-carers-health-advocatelast_img read more

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CCM party holds lead in Tanzania election

first_imgTanzania’s ruling party presidential hopeful held a narrow lead Wednesday with around half the votes counted in the country’s tightest ever election.With 133 of 264 constituencies having released results on the third day of counting in east Africa’s most populous country, John Magafuli of the long-ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) had won 56.51% of votes.His nearest rival in Sunday’s presidential vote, Edward Lowassa of the opposition Chadema party, has 41.67%, according to official results announced by the National Election Commission (NEC) late Tuesday.In Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous archipelago which also voted for its own leader, the main opposition presidential candidate declared himself the winner on Monday, ahead of any official announcement of results.Police on the Indian Ocean islands fired tear gas to break up crowds, while foreign embassies warned visitors to the popular tourist destination to avoid large crowds.Security forces on Tuesday surrounded the islands’ main tallying and results centre after opposition challenger Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF) repeated warnings that he “will not concede defeat if robbed of my victory.”last_img read more

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