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Otara community to benefit from $8m pledge

15:14 AEST Tue Jul 17 2012
Owen Glenn (Getty)
Owen Glenn (Getty)

Two organisations set to benefit from multimillionaire Owen Glenn's pledge of more than $8 million to the South Auckland suburb of Otara say they're thrilled to receive the funding boost.

Mr Glenn announced the funding for a series of initiatives aimed at reducing domestic violence and child abuse in Otara, where he lived as a young married man, on Tuesday.

Rhonda Cox-Nissen, operations manager of Eastern Women's Refuge, told NZ Newswire the funding will go towards establishing a service parallel to the Women's Refuge to help violent men.

"We have a very clear vision around working with [male perpetrators of violence] and basically Owen Glenn is offering us something that our women have told us for a long time that they wanted," she said.

The refuge has been ready with a service for almost four years, but they haven't been able to secure sustainable funding until now.

Chief executive of Otara Health Ingrid Minett said their funding will go towards establishing a family centre, which will support Otara in becoming a more child-centred community.

Mr Glenn has also said he will fund a commission of inquiry to investigate why domestic violence and child abuse remains a major issue in New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key has praised Mr Glenn's initiative in Otara.

"This is a great example for other very well-off New Zealanders to follow. He is keen to make a difference with the enormous wealth he has created for himself over the years," he told reporters.

My Key said the government spends an "enormous amount" on the welfare of youngsters.

"It's a complex issue, it's inter-generational in a lot of instances. I think the government is doing a lot but it's great that other people are prepared to help."