Glenn Inquiry names four independent chairs to strengthen its reach

Press Release – Glenn Inquiry
The Glenn Inquiry is living up to its colloquial name of the “People’s Inquiry” as it commits to visiting 25 towns and cities across New Zealand. Sir Owen Glenn is personally funding the Inquiry and he is determined to ensure it is driven from the grass roots up.

“Speaking with the people of New Zealand is a critical element and we’re interested in hearing from anyone about domestic violence and child abuse but particularly survivors, family and friends of survivors and frontline workers. We need to listen to them and understand how as a country we can reduce the statistics, how we can implement better systems and better support them.”

This large undertaking will be led by four independent chairs recently appointed. Sir Owen says the Inquiry continues to attract strong people because they believe in what he is doing.

“The aim is to produce a blueprint, which will be a model for the future that will answer one fundamental question ‘If New Zealand was leading the world in addressing child abuse and domestic violence what would that look like?’ Who wouldn’t want to support this?”

The independent chairs are:
-       Denese Henare ONZM – Former Law Commissioner
-       Gregory Fortuin – Former Families Commissioner and Race Relations Conciliator
-       Rosslyn Noonan – New Zealand’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner who is currently the visiting fellow at Auckland University’s New Zealand Centre for Human Rights
-       Joanne Morris – Experienced Waitangi Tribunal member and Law Commissioner

Director of the Glenn Inquiry, Ruth Herbert says each interview panel with be made up of one of the independent chairs along with one or more Think Tank members.

“To have this sort of senior expertise added to the Inquiry’s already impressive Think Tank line up speaks volumes and I’m excited about capitalising on their ability to lead and chair such an critical part of the Inquiry.”

Herbert expects that the evidence gathering will be completed by September 2013 and in the near future in addition to face-to-face opportunities, online submissions will be possible.

“We are very conscious that as the awareness of the Inquiry grows we could be inundated with people wanting to provide evidence and it simply won’t be possible to see everyone in person. The ability to provide a submission online will assist greatly and it is a priority to have this operating from our website as soon as possible.”

People wishing to be involved should register via www.glenninquiry.org.nz

Biographies of the Independent Chairs
Denese Henare, CNZM
Denese is a barrister and Solicitor with extensive experience in the law and the community. Formerly, a law commissioner with responsibility for te ao Maori in the Commission’s work in 1996-2001.  Denese has practised in the areas of public law and commerce and has had considerable involvement in the public sector in policy development and law reform.  Denese was elected as an Auckland City Councillor (1983-1986) and has served on various panels, commissions and tribunals addressing issues including those relating to the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori social and economic development, access to justice, health, education and human rights.

Gregory Fortuin
Cape Town born Former Families Commissioner and Race Relations Conciliator, Gregory was the Founding Chairman of the Youth Suicide Awareness Trust and is passionately involved in community issues in his hometown of Porirua (since 1991). Nelson Mandela appointed Gregory as South African Honorary Consul in 1997 (the first resident South African representative in New Zealand of the new South Africa).

Rosslyn Noonan
Rosslyn Noonan currently Visiting Fellow at Auckland University’s New Zealand Centre for Human Rights, was New Zealand’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner 2001-2011. In 2010, she was elected to a two year term chairing the global organisation of national human rights institutions.  A long-time feminist with extensive trade union experience, she is married, with two children and four grandchildren.  

Joanne Morris (LL.M, OBE),
Joanne is a Waitangi Tribunal member for more than 20 years, has also chaired the Broadcasting Standards Authority, and been a Law Commissioner responsible for a major study of Women’s Access to Justice. In her earlier career, Jo chaired the 1988 Committee of Inquiry into Pornography, and taught law at Sydney and Victoria universities.

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