by Selwyn Manning
A new youth justice facility is proposed for a site in Manukau City.
The Children Young Persons and their Families Agency this evening announced details of where the youth justice residential centre is to be built.
The land is on Manukau’s Roscommon Road, near Wiri Mountain and is zoned as “non-residential” by Manukau City Council. Locals will know the site as being where a drive-in movie enterprise was operating some two years ago. It is also on land neighbouring the historic Stonefields.
Department of Corrections had intended to build a men’s prison on the site. However, local iwi protested against Crown plans.
Tangatawhenua said a respected Rangatira, Te Takanini, who the south Auckland township of Takanini was so named, had last century been executed by Government troops on the Roscommon Road land. To build a men’s prison there was an insult, the iwi had insisted.
A compromise was met between Corrections Department and iwi to shelve plans for the men’s prison and place a youth justice facility on the site.
The new centre will hold up to 40 youths who have been arrested, remanded, or sentenced by the Youth Court.
An additional six beds will be available for youths who are unable to serve sentences in prison due to being vulnerable to abuse, attack or intimidation, or because of a lack of maturity.
CYPFA spokesperson, Andy Gillies, says the Manukau community will be consulted before a final decision is to be made.
Manurewa MP George Hawkins told Scoop today the announcement is bad news for Manukau.
He says the Weymouth Residential Centre, notorious for the number of escapes over recent years, will remain open. This new centre on Roscommon Road, just around the corner from the Weymouth facility, is the first of a number of prison earmarked for south Auckland.
“We have a men’s prison destined for south Auckland, we have a women’s prison to be built in south Auckland. We are about to become the prison capital of New Zealand,” Mr Hawkins says.
Scoop understands Manukau mayor
Sir Barry Curtis is pleased to hear the youth justice
residential centre will be located on Roscommon