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Government Decides Against Mandeville Facility

Government Decides Against Youth Justice Residence At Mandeville

The Government has decided not to proceed with plans to build a new youth justice residence at Mandeville in North Canterbury, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

A new purpose built youth justice facility is needed in the South Island as the current youth justice facility at Kingslea in Burwood no longer meets the needs of youth.

Mr Maharey said he wanted to thank Child, Youth and Family staff and the community for taking part in what was a fair and open process. The Department needs to identify a potential site in order to seek community feedback which is an important part of the designation process. Mr Maharey said he had extended the consultation period in response to requests from the local community and he was satisfied that sufficent time had now been allowed.

"The decision not to proceed was influenced by a number of factors. In particular there are potential legal issues regarding the availability of the proposed site which could significantly delay the building of a residence, or prevent the purchase of the land altogether.

"Child, Youth and Family officials will begin a new consultation process to identify possible alternative sites. It will look to establish a working group of community leaders to draw up a list of possible sites. Once this shortlist is completed, consultation can commence with local communities.

"A new secure, purpose-built Youth Justice facility in Christchurch is an urgent priority. The government is committed to finding a site as quickly as possible and moving youth justice services from the exisiting Kingslea facility.

"The proposed siting of these facilities is often controversial. My hope is that a forum involving officials and local community leaders will provide us with the circuit breaker we need to get on with building the new centre," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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