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Symbolic start for new youth justice residence

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Disability Issues

12 September 2008 Media Statement

Symbolic start for new youth justice residence in Rotorua

Tomorrow a soil turning ceremony will mark the next step towards a new youth justice residence in Rotorua, and allow civil construction work to begin next month.

The youth justice residence is a much needed facility that will provide accommodation for up to 40 young people and employ approximately 80 full time staff. Building begins early next year, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

“Many of the young people will come from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Being closer to family and community helps in both their rehabilitation and transition back into the community,” says Minister for Social Development and Employment, Ruth Dyson.

The residence will consist of eight separate buildings. As well as the residential units, there will be an administration block, and buildings where the young people can continue their education and can take part in cultural activities. There will also be courtyard areas and a playing field for sports and recreation.

“While in residence, young people are provided with a range of programmes that address their social, health and educational needs. This includes activities such as vocational training, schooling and rehabilitative programmes that help stop re-offending,” says Minister Dyson.

“The young people need an environment where they can address their offending, and be supported to get their life back on track. Residences, such as the one being built in Rotorua, provide such an environment,” Minister Dyson says.

Facts about youth justice residences:

- Young offenders can be admitted to a youth justice residence if they have been arrested by the police, remanded by the court, sentenced to imprisonment, or the court has ordered it.
- The young people are generally aged between 14 and 17, and their stay can be anything from a few weeks to three months.
- There are currently three youth justice residences providing 110 beds. These are Korowai Manaaki in Manakau, Te Puna Wai O Tuhinapo in Rolleston, and Lower North Justice in Palmerston North.


ENDS

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