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National Secure Unit For Intellectually Disabled

MEDIA RELEASE

4 October 2004

National Secure Unit For Intellectually Disabled

New Zealand’s new secure unit for people who have an intellectual disability and who have offended will be officially opened by the Minister for Disability Services, Ruth Dyson, on October 7 at Porirua.

The $6.5m unit, named Haumietiketike, has been built on the Porirua campus of Capital & Coast DHB’s Regional Forensic, Rehabilitation and Intellectual Disability Service.

The 10 bed facility provides treatment and rehabilitation for people who cannot be managed in their home communities. Its establishment follows a push by government and people working within mental health for services that are specifically targeted at people with an intellectual disability. Many of those who will be cared for at Haumietiketike will be transferred from forensic psychiatric units.

Director of the C&C DHB Regional Forensic, Rehabilitation and Intellectual Disability Service, Nigel Fairley, says the new service will ensure that the care, treatment and rehabilitation provided for this group of people is specifically designed for their needs.

“This new facility is largely designed for people who have offended and need secure care. Some may be treated here because their home communities cannot provide the close supervision that they require,” he said.

Services provided for intellectually disabled clients will include a wide range of activities; from cooking through to work experience, sports, and programmes designed to build up each person’s life skills.

“As with all our clients, we are always working toward some degree of rehabilitation with the aim of helping people return to their home communities,” said Mr Fairley.

Staff at Haumietiketike include psychiatrists, psychologists, specialist nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and support workers.

“We are actively recruiting both in New Zealand and overseas, particularly in the UK, for people who have skills in this particular sub-speciality,” he said.

Haumietiketike has been designed to provide a bright, light filled environment and uses special acoustic wall and ceiling finishes to keep noise levels to a minimum.

There are three wings with several bedrooms each and a mini kitchen in one, to give those living in that wing the experience of independent living.

The official opening is on October 7 at 10am with site tours from 1pm until 4pm
Raiha Street (off Kenepuru Drive).

ENDS

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