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Waikato Anglicans lead on Youth Justice programme

For immediate release February 3, 2006

Waikato Anglicans take a lead on pioneering Youth Justice programme

Anglican Action – the community development agency of the Anglican Diocese of Waikato – welcomes the Minister of Justice’s decision to set up the first Te Hurihanga residence at Te Ara Hou village in Hamilton.

Te Hurihanga (literally: “the turning point”) is a new residential programme for teenage boys who’ve been before the courts. A maximum of eight youngsters will live in a home, under close, skilled supervision, as they take part in an intensive therapeutic programme designed to head them away from future trouble.

Bishop David Moxon, the Anglican Bishop of Waikato, said the aims of the Te Hurihanga programme were closely aligned with what Anglican Action, the Church’s justice through service agency in Hamilton, is trying to achieve – and therefore the Diocese had no hesitation in offering to host Te Hurihanga at the Te Ara Hou village.

A cluster of social service agencies, including Anglican Action, Catholic Social Services and The James Family operate programmes from Te Ara Hou (tr: “the new way”). The property is owned by the Anglican Diocese of Waikato.

“From our involvement in other similar programmes,” says Bishop Moxon, “we know that the approach being used by Te Hurihanga has real potential to benefit local young people who haven’t had a good start in life.”

“There is a real need for this type of programme in Hamilton, and we welcome the news that the Minister of Justice has agreed to establish Te Hurihanga here. Like the Minister and the site selection committee, we believe the village site is a positive location for the youth residence.”

Bishop Moxon said Anglican Action had received a good measure of community support for establishing Te Hurihanga at Te Ara Hou village, while acknowledging that there had been significant concern and opposition to the idea.

“We acknowledge supporters may not have been as prominent as opponents, but it has been made very clear to us that many local people believe this is a good site for the residence,” Bishop Moxon said.

“We believe that the residence’s operating procedures and the strict measures that will always be in place can help to address any concerns that local people have around safety and property”.

ENDS

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