Opening Te Whari Tiaki Wahine Women's Refuge

  • Phil Heatley
Energy and Resources Housing

It hardly needs to be said that it’s a sad comment on our society that a service like Women’s Refuge is needed. 

But needed it is, and what a fantastic job you do. I’m in awe of the level of commitment and the depth of the work you do supporting women and children getting out of terrifying situations, the worst kind of crises. I’m proud that Housing is able to be a part of that.

The corporation worked closely with Te Whari Tiaki Wahine Refuge to find a replacement refuge around the Titahi Bay/Porirua/Whitby areas when it was needed.

They then modified the property to ensure it suited the needs of the women and children who will be using it including making it private and safe, which is essential for this type of facility.

The new facility better meets the needs of the people it serves, with more bedrooms, storage space, and is located in a new secure location.

But this new refuge is extra-special because it is the first of its kind to also accommodate abused animals. We’ve heard that around a third of women have delayed leaving a violent relationship because of pets – that’s not just because of animal abuse or potential animal abuse but because of the obvious added emotional wrench.

They come to Refuge with pets and now this house can provide for cats and dogs and other pets. This helps lessen the anxiety some women or children may feel if they need Refuge accommodation and obviously the presence of pets and knowing they are safe helps reassure people, especially children.  

This is just one of 57 properties that the Corporation rents to the National Women’s Refuge Collective. It is also one of over 1,560 Community Group Housing properties that the Corporation rents to other community groups that support the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities, such as facilities to assist youth at risk or people with disabilities.

We’re going to keep on with that support for what you do and I know you’ll keep on too, providing safe haven for these distressed people.

And now, I declare this refuge, Te Whare Tiaki Wahine, officially open. I admire the courage shown by everyone who passes through here and I hope it’s the beginning of a much better life for them all.