Judi Lady Gallagher has been named Waikato Women's Refuge's first-ever patron.Gallagher said she was overwhelmed and humbled to be asked to be a part of the refuge.
"I'm actually very honoured that they've asked me," she said.
"I think it's a privilege to be able to do this and I hope I can add value and help them.
"She was committed to seeing families reunited and education put in place for women in the refuge to move forward.
"Children need mothers and fathers and if we can help the whole family to work forward, then we're achieving wonderful things," she said.
Recently, the refuge had implemented programmes where women and families had begun to work with men involved in their situations as a means of rehabilitation and education.
"The women will help the children but if we don't help the fathers as well, we're failing everybody so I think the whole thing, it's an education," Gallagher said.
Her patronage also coincided with the refuge's acquisition of a new housing facility which would be functional in about a month's time.
Waikato Women's Refuge currently houses 54 women across its five safe houses.
The new facility, a building which was formerly on the Braemar Hospital site, would mark a sixth house and would help to stretch out space and provide more safe havens for women.
Service manager Roni Albert was thrilled with how well the new facility had come together.
"It's beautiful, absolutely," she said.
"We're so lucky."
Albert, who was one of the founding members of the refuge in 1986, said the new facility included 10 small bedrooms and would be used to house five families and provide a place for crisis workers to work with women in the refuge on site.
While the main focus of the refuge is to keep women safe, it also aims to build self-sufficiency and educate its women.
Albert hoped one day there would be no need for such organisations as Women's Refuge."Eventually, we want to no longer have our service. It's to make us redundant."