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Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise

28 November 2014

Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise

The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012.

“I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to me that there is no more urgent issue facing our society than getting to grips with the national tragedy of child abuse and domestic violence”, Sir Owen says.

“I was deeply concerned then – and I still am – that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of family violence in the developed world. If anything, the problem seems to be worsening.

“This is an affront to our humanity. A decent society doesn’t victimise its women and children the way ours does.

“It also adds up to a major drag on our economy. The Inquiry commissioned a study to measure the economic impact of family violence on our country. There, too, the picture is bleak. Family violence could be costing our economy seven times more today than twenty years ago.

“I tasked the Glenn Inquiry to produce a thoroughly researched, independent, unvarnished picture of the extent of the problem. Even more importantly, since it’s clear that our system for dealing with family violence is broken, the Inquiry was also required to propose a package of measures to fix it.

“It’s obvious that piecemeal tinkering won’t do and nor will applying yet more band-aid treatments to the symptoms. We’ve been doing this for the past twenty years. It has got us nowhere.

“Pointing towards how we might fix it – and break the cycle of violence – was the task the Inquiry set itself in The People’s Blueprint.

“New Zealand needs nothing less than a culture shift in order to turn around our shameful record of family violence and to reach those many victims who are even now invisible in the official statistics. We have got to re-design systems across the whole of our society. That’s an epic challenge. To meet it, we will all have to be on the same page, mobilised and united behind a national strategy.

“The Blueprint provides the basis of just such a coherent, integrated strategy. Now that the Inquiry’s work is done, the challenge is laid down to implement it. I am anxious to see the strategy adopted by political parties, across the spectrum, and taken up over the whole of our society.

“Because the inescapable fact is that we all have a role to pay in breaking the cycle of family violence. In answering the call to do what we can for our country, we will be making New Zealand a far, far better place for ourselves and our families.”


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