Top of the Lake, the acclaimed New Zealand writer and director Jane Campion’s mini series, has concluded on Sundance channel.
This series is excellent, and should be used as a reference if people ask you what it is really like to live in New Zealand, or when you are asked why you left such a glorious place.
If you’re one of the people taken in by the New Zealand advertising hype and seriously contemplating a relocation to the most remote country on earth, this series is such a gritty, brutally honest depiction of the New Zealand lifestyle for so many people that you need to watch it.
You could, of course, also watch Once Were Warriors, to get an understanding of the under-current of violence in the country, but Top of the Lake gives a far better appreciation of the real day to day issues, including those of the status of women in this small nation, children perpetuating the cycle of violence and abuse, incest, child rape and youth suicide.
New Zealand is a great place to bring up kids, are you sure of that?
There are some quotes from the final reviews:
Salon.com: “]As GJ (Holly Hunter) says, “we’re up in a place called Paradise, but is everything okay? Of course not.”
Hitflix.com: “Throughout, Campion and collaborators Garth Davis and Gerald Lee did an excellent job of making that community a place where I could gawk at the scenery and yet never, ever want to visit.”
Slate.com “I did like how it kind of made sense of the actual biggest mystery of Top of the Lake, which is, as a friend of mine put it, why does nobody in this town care about rape?…talk about a rape culture“
Napier police are warning about the dangers of sexual predators after a 17 year old female was sexually assaulted by a 15 year old youth in Woodhouse Place, Pirimai, at 11.30am on 31 January 2013. It was the third such attack in the areas in as many months.
“The offender was described as a teenage boy, around 15, who had followed the young woman on what she told police was a black BMX-style bicycle.
Mr Lynch said police were now reasonably confident the offender lived somewhere in the immediate area…” more here
The assault happened two days before an 8 year old was raped on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill. A 20 year old male has been arrested in connection with that attack. The week before an English tourist was raped and beaten on the walkway overlooking Owhanake Bay on Waiheke Island. 17 year old Cane Norton Kelland was arrested and charged in connection with the attack.
The attack is following a disturbing trend in New Zealand – that of sex attacks on children and young women by young males.
There have been many violent acts perpetrated by young teens over the last few years in New Zealand, the most heinous of which must surely be the rape and savage beating of a five year old European tourist on a campsite in Turangi last year. 16 year old Raurangi Marino was later sentenced to a mere 10 years imprisonment for burglary, sexual violation by rape and for causing grievous bodily harm.
According to a list published by Hawke’s Bay Today the three latest assaults are
“October 30, 2012: An 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a man described as aged about 20, slim and 1.7m tall, on the green belt along Georges Drive, Napier, about 4.30pm. The case has not been solved.
November 25, 2012: A 17-year-old girl was indecently assaulted near public toilets off Maadi Rd in Onekawa, Napier. Police later arrested a (16 year old) teenager after CCTV footage led to him being identified.
January 31: A 17-year-old girl is followed by a teenage boy on a bike and sexually assaulted in Woodhouse Place, Pirimai, Napier.” more here
One has to ask, is New Zealand failing its youth and what sort of dysfunctional society are these young males being brought up in?
And, should more be done to inform tourists and immigrants about the risks they are taking when visiting New Zealand, which is often portrayed as a safe destination abroad?
You may also be interested in
English Tourist Victim of Waiheke Island Rape – 17 year old youth arrested (23 January 2013)
- Arrest over sexual assault of a girl – Police have charged a 20-year-old Invercargill man in relation to an alleged sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl at Oreti Beach in Southland on Saturday.
- NZ children exploited for online pornography (radionz.co.nz)
- Daytime sexual assault leaves girl shaken (stuff.co.nz)
- Hand over phones or be shot, teens told – Onekawa in Napier (nzherald.co.nz) 22 January 2013
- Man kept diaries of sex offences (nzherald.co.nz)
- Teenager arrested over sexual assault - Maadi Rd, Napier (nzherald.co.nz) 4 December 2012
3News.co.nz is one of many media outlets today carrying the story of an eight year old child who was raped at Oreti Beach, near Invercargill in Southland at 4pm yesterday (2 February) http://www.3news.co.nz/Girl-8-raped-at-Southland-beach/tabid/423/articleID/285453/Default.aspx.
Coming just over a year since the brutal rape of a five year old at a camp site in Turangi we are saddened to hear of another assault on a child in New Zealand in a location where children are usually thought to be safe. Parents must be asking themselves where is safe for their children these days?
Our thoughts are with the girl and her family at this difficult time.
The police have released no details about the nationality of the child and are concentrating their efforts on catching the perpetrator of this vile act.
Discussion on Facebook suggested that the girl’s father caught the alleged perpetrator in the act, which happened in dunes 50 metres from the entrance to the beach. This has yet to be confirmed by the police.
Based on other recent attacks we think her attacker is likely to be a low income male in his youth with gang associations – possibly a gang prospect – with a history of childhood abuse, a dysfunctional family life and a drug user.
In January of last year Dr Kim McGregor, Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education wrote an open letter to John Key. He called for a Task-force on Action on Sexual Violence to be set-up in New Zealand and cited some horrendous child abuse figures. Read the task force’s report and recommendations here.
Far from being a great place to raise kids, the high level of sexual violence in New Zealand impacts 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 8 boys under the age of 16 years. For more about the significant problems of raising children in New Zealand please see our Education and Childrens Issues facts page.
You may also be interested in
English Tourist Victim of Waiheke Island Rape – 17 year old youth arrested (23 January 2013)
A quick round up of this morning’s headlines from New Zealand.
A man who vowed to fight to the “bitter end” charges of wilfully damaging Jewish graves at an Auckland cemetery has had his case dropped.
The celebrations of an Australian couple on their honeymoon in New Zealand turned into commiserations when their wedding dress and suit and rings were stolen near the Milford road.
The couple severely injured in a horrific axe attack in Bluff 10 days ago are recovering in hospital in Dunedin and say despite the horror and pain they have suffered they will not let it change their lives.
A father who forced his children to cover up their injuries after he beat, slapped, whipped and strangled them has been imprisoned for four years.
Details of the top 10 recidivist criminals have been released by the Justice Ministry under the Official Information Act, including the number of convictions, the category of offence and the time period in
which the crimes were committed.
Crooked prison guards have been smuggling contraband to inmates, with seven losing their jobs in three years.
A man was last night in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital after an assault outside a Temuka hotel on Saturday night.
Police are hunting four people after an armed robbery this afternoon at a commercial cleaning premises in central Wellington.
The body of a young man has been discovered in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
The collapse of a major methamphetamine trial has led to a call for a high-level review of how drugs cases are dealt with and their effects on stressed jurors.
A police pursuit of a stolen car in the Waikato this morning ended when the driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid a tyre deflation device laid in its path and crashed into a bank.
A mother who admitted she was an alcoholic who smoked P and marijuana around her two year old son, blew cannabis smoke in his face and waited for days to take him to hospital with a broken arm, has denied any role in his death.
Continuing in our series of What Kiwis Say About New Zealand, honest accounts of living in New Zealand taken from places around the net.
These posts were taken today from the community boards at Trademe.co.nz, *scroll down for a list of headlines from 2 Nov 2012.
“Imagine leaving friendly New Zealand and arriving in a place with these depressing headlines..
* Toddler’s murder trial begins
* Man goes on rampage in bank
* Gatecrasher clash leaves man in ICU
* P found in hair of children
* Teens turn blind eye to drink-driving
* Cycling mayor hit by car
* Woman in checkpoint chase with police
* Elderly man died after substandard care
Where could this place be? Hint, headlines are taken from today’s Stuff web site”
You can view the news site Stuff here http://stuff.co.nz
These are some of the replies,
datoofairy: “Its New Zealand. But it could be any country at all. Every country has its fair share of horror stories, none are perfect.”
astroflight1: “Americans believe they live in the greatest country on earth too. Americans and New Zealanders are both wrong. This cleanest greenest Godzone crap…..ENOUGH ALREADY!”
onlylv: ”+1 It was my American dream yonks ago but somehow I landed in NZ and too late now to go anywhere…”
christin: Yes, it may be NZ, but we dont live in a war torn country, a country that doesn’t accept different religions, a country where anyone can walk in and buy a gun (and use it!), where the colour of your skin or race can cause you problems, a country in major financial crisis to the point of bankruptcy, where terrorism is an actual possibility, where nuclear bombs are held……….I think NZ isnt too bad after all!”
bantamus: “where do you live ?NZ is racist, just expressed differently, its more covert.
There is a strong gun culture, just look at the hunting element and the number of accidents and fatalities
Terrorism has hit NZ, remember rainbow warrior ?
NZ is in a major financial crisis, why do you think so many have left ?”
vickyh1: “This exactly, and also:
- We don’t suffer from regular flooding or bushfires
- We don’t have any major water or electricity shortages
- Our climate is temperate enough that it’s rare for people to die of heatstroke in summer or freeze to death in winter.
- If anyone wanted to invade us they’d have to get past our wonderful (and heavily armed) neighbour Australia.
We have our share of problems but we’re still easily one of the most priviledged countries on earth.”
we have around 16000 eq’s a year, yes majority not felt
we constantly have severe weather events
we have active volcano’s
we have one island that gets 2/3rds of its power from an island thats going to get munted by a mag 8 quake anytime
australia couldnt prevent nothing; their military is too small and today “war” is fought very differently
the fallacy of dieing from heat stroke or hypothermia is just that, a fallacy. nz doesnt keep accurate stats.”
kohi5656: “Some very good points made here. Yes, newspapers love bad news. And yes, other countries have crime as well. But these headlines reflect just one day chosen at random. The same stories appear day after day. Are earlier posters indifferent? Or desensitised? Maybe they think there’s nothing alarming about today’s front page news: a parent giving marijuana to his 2 year old. I don’t think it happened in North Korea..”
hyena2: “You missed 2yr old forced to smoke cannibis through asthma inhaler” link
- Five men storm house in home invasion
A dog has been shot, a man assaulted with the butt of a rifle and five others left traumatised after a violent home invasion in Mt Roskill overnight.
- Six to appear in court after drug bust
Six men will appear in court today after a drug bust in Auckland.
- Bashed dad feared for kids
Solo dad Marty Keen choked up thinking about the attack he says could have left his children without their father.
- Murder accused told police: ‘She was my love’
A jury has watched a video interview with accused killer Shanal Sajesh Kumar, 29, where he was told of the death of his former lover.
- Drugs a large part of crime, judge says
Around 80 to 90 per cent of crime is related to alcohol and drug misuse, according to one of New Zealand’s top judges.
- Crown to seek Red Devils retrial
All 21 people targeted in a bungled police sting on the Red Devils bikie gang may face a retrial after the Crown launched appeal proceedings yesterday.
- Lawyers’ daughter linked to serious-injury crash
The teenage daughter of two prominent Wellington lawyers has been charged with drink-driving after a collision in which another teen was seriously injured.
- Second Kaitaia man faces child sex charges
A second Kaitaia man who worked with children has been charged with sexual offences against boys.
- Boy, 15, charged with South Auckland murder
Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy and charged him with the murder of a South Auckland man.
- Appeal in Red Devils case ahead
The Solicitor General has decided to appeal against the stay of proceedings in the Red Devils case.
“The man accused of murdering a toddler by slamming him so hard in the stomach that he split the child’s pancreas and liver in half gave the two-year-old marijuana, a court has heard.
Josephine Lawrence told the High Court at Auckland how Joel Loffley used an asthma inhaler as a marijuana pipe and helped her two-year-old son smoke the class C drug.
“He would give him a pipe and give him a spot.”… more here