Vexed inquiry ponders future

By Kathryn Powley

Owen Glenn. Photo / Dean Purcell
Owen Glenn. Photo / Dean Purcell

The troubled Owen Glenn inquiry into family violence reaches a turning point this week.

Wealthy businessman Glenn has bankrolled the inquiry but it has been rocked in the past month by resignations and revelations Glenn didn't disclose being accused of "abuse of family or household members" in Hawaii more than 10 years ago. The charge was dismissed in 2004 after he pleaded "no contest".

This week the inquiry's board will decide on what to do next.

Inquiry patron Dame Cath Tizard, who has been unsure whether she would carry on in the role, would still not commit yesterday. "I'm going to a meeting with them on Monday," she said. "I shall go along and listen to what they're talking about and see where they're at. If I can't make any contribution or be any help to them, there's no point me staying with it."

Dr Lance O'Sullivan said he would continue in the inquiry's think tank. Half of its 38 members are reported to have left.

"As a doctor who works in Kaitaia and has been involved with a child who died due to child abuse, I think it's sad the focus has shifted from a really awesome idea to tackle this problem, talk about it and do something to address it." He thought those remaining could regroup and get back on track. "The original plan for the Glenn inquiry is going to need to be reconfigured quite significantly, given the changes that have occurred in the past few weeks."

Inquiry chief executive Kirsten Rei said a work plan would be presented at this week's board meeting. She said the inquiry structure could change, but she wouldn't pre-empt any decision by revealing more.

"We want to get on with the work of addressing the issues, which is exactly why we're staying the course."

- Herald on Sunday

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