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Child, Youth And Family Explains Kingslea Delay

Child, Youth and Family is meeting with Shirley residents and other interested parties tonight to further explain why it is now unable to commit to shifting youth justice operations from the Kingslea site by 31 October 2002.

The department had been looking to locate a new youth justice facility in Templeton but it was decided, for a number of reasons, that this was unsuitable. Following this decision, it was believed that the 31 October 2002 timeframe could still be met and this advice was communicated, in good faith, to residents at a meeting in August. However, a closer examination of the time required to find a new site and to build the new facility has now established that the earliest the youth justice young people can be off the Kingslea site is September 2003.

At tonight’s meeting, Residential Services Strategy project director Debbie Sturmfels was to explain in detail why it will now be at least September 2003 before the youth justice young people can be removed from Kingslea.

“I have apologised personally and on behalf of the department for not being able to honour the commitment I gave to residents at the meeting in August.

“The process the department undertakes to satisfy the requirements of the Resource Management Act is extensive and takes time to complete. Not all parts of the process are within the control of the Department.

“Community consultation is a significant part of the process and we have learnt that community feedback is important and want to provide time for community involvement.”

Child, Youth and Family is now hoping to announce a potential site for the proposed new South Island youth justice facility early next year so that a notice of requirement for a designation can be lodged later in 2001. Construction can begin once the necessary approvals have been obtained. It is intended to have the new youth justice facility operating by the end of 2003.

“Besides holding community consultation once a site for the proposed South Island youth justice facility is announced, I will maintain a dialogue with local residents about the future of operations at Kingslea and ensure they get the most accurate information possible,” says Ms Sturmfels.

Media contact:
Stephen Ward, National Media Advisor
04 918 9124 or 029 504 077

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