28 Oct 2019

Manager resigns at troubled women's refuge

11:02 am on 28 October 2019

The manager of Dunedin's Women's Refuge has resigned after investigations revealed a slew of serious problems.

Dr Ang Jury CEO of Women's Refuge

Women's Refuge New Zealand chief executive Dr Ang Jury says recruitment has begun for a new manager for its Dunedin refuge. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In September, a damming report lifted the lid on allegations of bullying and unsafe work practices at Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women's Refuge.

It found that some staff had helped themselves to physical donations including food and second hand clothing.

Staff also accused management of making derogatory comments and playing people off each other.

The Women's Refuge Chief Executive, Ang Jury, said staff had been put through the wringer, and it was now sorted.

"The service at the refuge has never been interrupted through this process, I should make that clear."

Ms Jury admitted it had been an exhaustive process and staff were being offered ongoing support.

She said the quality of service offered to the women and children going through the refuge was, and would continue to be high.

But the centre will be allowed to keep its government accreditation, albeit under close scrutiny, the Ministry of Social Development has confirmed.

In a statement, Barry Fisk, from the Ministry of Social Development said Te Whare Pounamu would be continually monitored to ensure good practice was followed.

He said that generally, this meant "keeping an eye on organisational policies and procedures, the environment, and the controls in place".

In addition, Womens Refuge would also monitor the site through its own audit process.

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