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Contract awarded for new residence development

Contract awarded for new residence development

Child, Youth and Family has awarded the contract for the redevelopment of its new care and protection residence in Auckland to Robert Cunningham Construction Ltd.

The Mt Wellington-based company will begin work on the former Northern Residential Centre in Manurewa on 21 February, with building work expected to last 12 months.

Once redeveloped, the new residential facility – Care and Protection North - will have an increase of beds from 10 to 20 to house some of the country’s most vulnerable young people. It is scheduled to open in early 2006.

Previously the facility also housed youth justice residents. However this changed with the opening of Youth Justice North in Manurewa in January 2004. This move was in line with Child, Youth and Family’s Residential Services Strategy which recommends the separation of youth justice from care and protection facilities because of differing residents’ needs.

“Our aim is to keep disruption to a minimum whilst the building work is going on,” Child, Youth and Family’s Programme Director Residential Services Strategy Lynne Dovey, said. “The young people in Hostel 3, which is being demolished, have been temporarily moved to Hostel 5, which was recently upgraded for this purpose. During construction, noise has to be kept within levels set down by the City Council and dust control measures will be in place. “

Contracts Manager of Robert Cunningham Construction Ltd, Doug Sayers, estimates that an average of 40-60 workers will be on site at any one time, over half of workers being from the south Auckland area. “First of all we will be demolishing the whare and old hostel buildings towards the rear of the site. After that earthworks in the same area will be dug to create the foundation platform for the main new building,” Mr Sayers said.

Once completed the site will include a new residential block and flat for visiting families. The existing school, gym, administration building and cultural facility will be retained and upgraded.

-more follows- Child, Youth and Family Manager, Residential Services, Margie Michael said young people coming into the residence are those most at risk to themselves or others. “They may have attempted suicide, or have a history of self-harm and perhaps drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution. The new environment will aid us in better developing programmes together with each young person to set specific goals for them. Others involved in putting the programme together will include the young person’s social worker, residential case worker, their Counsel and their families. Each programme will be planned with that individual in mind.”

“The new residence will also provide a more secure environment for young people needing this specialist care prior to their return to their families and the community,” Ms Michael added.

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