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News of Zealand

A Rocket Launch, Sex Shop Burglars and "Fight Clubs" in Youth Prisons

Plus inspiration from Gloriavale and a world-wide cyber attack in New Zealand's Monday wrap.
Not our rocket, but one a bit like it. Image via Flickr.

'Snitches Get Stitches' the Motto in Youth Prisons, Says Report

Teen boys held at a youth prison told visiting inspectors that staff would hit them on the body where it won't leave marks, and take them out of view of CTV cameras for "fight club" style beatings. The allegations emerged in a new State of Care report from the Children's Commissioner into conditions in New Zealand's youth prisons and care facilities. Other issues covered in the report include assaults on staff, absconsions—or residents leaving the facilities—and assaults on young people that were not reported to police, the Herald reports. Following the allegations of 'fight clubs, "people worked night-and-day to get to the bottom of it but it couldn't be corroborated," Commissioner Andrew Becroft told the Herald. But he said while the commission found no evidence of systemic abuse during inspections, young people often didn't report abuse or violence when in institutions.

"'Snitches get stitches' was the all-too-often refrain from the young people we interviewed."


New Zealand's Launching a Rocket into Space

A New Zealand-based space startup is due to begin a series of test launches this week, in the leadup to sending its first rocket into space. Rocket Lab has been developing its 'Electron' Rocket for the past 4 years. It'll be doing test launches from its facilities along the Mahia Peninsula. CEO Peter Beck told The Verge "We are all incredibly excited to get to this point," in a statement. "Our talented team has been preparing for years for this opportunity and we want to do our best to get it right. Our number one priority is to gather enough data and experience to prepare for a commercial phase. Only then can we can start delivering on our mission to make space more accessible."

Burglars Hit a Christchurch Sex Shop

A gang of lusty burglars have targeted Christchurch sex shop Peaches and Cream over the weekend. A police spokesperson said a group of people used a car to yank off the doors and gain access to the store, which sells sex toys, costumes and porn. "They went into the cash registers, so we can't say how much they have gotten away with," the spokesperson told Fairfax. Police are now taking fingerprints and checking surveillance footage in a bid to identify the offenders.

Gloriavale on Trend for Dystopian Fashion

The costume designer for The Handmaid's Tale looked to the women of Gloriavale when she was creating the right look of oppression for the TV show. The critical hit, an adaptation of Margaret Attwood's lauded novel starring Elisabeth Moss, follows a group of women enslaved to produce children in a dystopian future. Costume designer Anne Crabtree told The Muse that she had researched religious and cult communities and the West Coast Christian community had similarities to the "old-world culture" of the show's setting, Gilead. "Where women are baking bread and children are dressed quite close to the women of the group."

New Zealand Computers at Risk from Global Hack Attack

The Government's spy agency has stepped up cyber security of government departments and critical infrastructure over the weekend, after a ransomware attack that started in the UK spread around the world. The WannaCry programme locks computers and demands a ransom of NZ$430 in bitcoin. Radio NZ reported the attack had struck in 100 countries, including New Zealand. The government's cyber security help service Cert called the incident the largest ransom campaign ever and is advising Windows users in New Zealand to back up their hard drives, patch their systems, and be hyper vigilante opening emails.