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Women's Refuge Selects New Chief Executive

8 March 2005

Women's Refuge Selects New Chief Executive

Heather Henare has been appointed as the new chief executive of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges.

She takes up her new role on 11 April.

Ms Henare, 46, has worked throughout her career to eliminate violence towards women and children, most recently as chief executive for Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS).

She is a qualified social worker and has held positions in Women's Refuge, Child Youth and Family and the Office of the Commissioner for Children.

Ms Henare said she hoped to bring her experience with both women and children together in the new job.

"New Zealand has a very high level of violence towards women and children and there is high tolerance in the community for acts of violence towards women and children."

Ms Henare said she will be supporting the work refuges do and working to obtain adequate funding for services they provide.

"Refuges are currently funded for only 25% of their costs, yet they are the only agency devoted to working with women and children experiencing domestic violence. Nearly 24,000 women and children used their services last year."

NCIWR Spokesperson Dawn Rangi-Smith said "We are thrilled to appoint Heather Henare. She will be an effective and inspiring spokesperson for the principles this movement stands for.

"Her professionalism and body of work demonstrates a proven commitment towards a healthy community through her work with women, children and families."

NCIWR has 52 member refuges. Refuges provide emergency safe house accommodation, support and education programmes for women and children experiencing violence from a family member.

ENDS

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