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Proposed site for youth justice residence


23 October 2001 Media Statement

Proposed site for youth justice residence announced


A working group of Canterbury political and community representatives is proposing crown-owned rural land between Burnham and Rolleston as the site for Child, Youth and Family’s new Christchurch-based youth justice residence.

Announcing the proposed site today, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said the working group was formed in July to help Child, Youth and Family find a suitable location. The proposed site is on Runners Rd between the Rolleston Prison and Burnham Army Camp.

Chaired by Wigram MP Jim Anderton, the working group is made up of representatives from three of the region’s councils, Police, Ngai Tahu and social agencies.

“I want to congratulate Mr Anderton and the group for their hard work. Runner’s Rd is the result of a careful and methodical selection process and has the working group’s unanimous backing. The site is also supported by all Christchurch-based Government MPs.

“I believe this is a site that balances the needs of both young people and the community. I hope their ground work will break the impasse we have experienced finding a suitable site.”

Mr Maharey said a new youth justice residence is needed because the existing youth justice facility at Kingslea in Burwood is no longer suitable.

“The new residence will deliver a vital community service by helping children and young people in Canterbury and the country address their offending behaviour and turn their lives around. In the residence they receive education and rehabilitation programmes designed to change their behaviour. Research shows without help these young people are at high risk of becoming adult offenders.”

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The new facility will provide a purpose-built residence for up to 40 young people generally aged between 14 and 17 in Child, Youth and Family’s care.

Consultation with the Rolleston and Burnham communities starts today.

“Child, Youth and Family and I want to hear what local residents think about the proposed site. Over the next few weeks there will be plenty of opportunity for the public to have their say. I strongly encourage local residents to get behind this site,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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