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Rehabilitation not site should be the main issue

Embargoed until 2:00 pm 24 October 2001 Media Statement

Rehabilitation not site should be the main issue


"Rehabilitating young offenders should be the major focus of our youth justice debate, not where we locate Youth Justice facilities,” said Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton who chaired the Canterbury Community Working party that selected the proposed site for the new centre.

Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Wigram Jim Anderton was today speaking on the announcement of the site for the new youth justice centre on Runners Road between Burnham and Rolleston on Crown-owned land.

“Christchurch needs a new purpose-built facility. We know it will be secure and ringed with a large fence. The residence will eventually be able to take up to 40 young people at a time, double the present youth justice capacity at the Kingslea residential centre. That’ll help keep kids out of Police cells and make more space available for rehabilitating youngsters.

“Everyone on the working group, including local council representatives, Police and Ngai Tahu supports this site. It’s away from dense housing and schools and close enough to social services.

“The suggestion of a site in Kirks Road, Templeton, was not an option because the Templeton community was promised by the committee which oversaw the site selection for the Adolescent Sex Rehabilition Unit, that no more institutions would be located in the Templeton community in the foreseeable future.

“I hope local residents and the wider Christchurch community will get behind the Government and Child, Youth and Family Service as they seek to develop this essential facility.

“I am confident the site will be a suitable one that takes into account the wishes of Christchurch people and the operational requirements of Child, Youth and Family.”

Consultation will now begin on the proposed site and the local community are able to have their say on the site.


ENDS

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