Sir Owen committed to Otara project
Saturday 2 Feb 2013 5:01 p.m.
South Auckland residents are concerned millions of dollars worth of grants promised by philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn to battle child abuse and domestic violence may not show up.
Sir Owen is currently settling an issue with his family trust and has dramatically cut down the next instalment to organisations helping out in Otara.
3 News was not at the Otara Markets long before finding a teenager who's benefiting from Sir Owen’s help.
He's concerned his programme will lose funding.
“I just don’t know what to say,” says Otara resident Freddie Baice. “It’s not fair. Come on, Glenn, give us that money. Let's use it.”
Last year, Sir Owen pledged $80 million for a new project to help fight child abuse, and promised $8 million for a test project in Otara.
But 3 News understands there's now an issue within Sir Owen's family trust and the availability of the funds overseas.
Fund recipient Ingrid Minett, who heads Otara Health, says all 12 organisations receiving grants were contacted by the Glenn Family Foundation last week. She was told her next payment will be halved.
“We sat down with them on Friday and they said they're still 100 percent committed to the project,” she says. “Unfortunately we may have to reschedule some things and there may be some delays. But they were very reassuring that things are going to go ahead.”
Sir Owen is currently in the US. A spokesperson would not confirm if he is there settling a dispute with overseas-based trustees.
But Sir Owen did release a statement saying there are no concerns regarding his finances.
He says "the Otara projects are being funded by the foundation, which is funded by my family trust. I am currently in discussions with the trustees in relation to the timing of this funding being released to the foundation. It is a personal matter between me and the trustees and is not something I wish to discuss publicly."
Sir Owen is also funding an independent inquiry into domestic violence and child abuse. But that money is coming out of his own pocket and will not be affected.