27 July 2006
- New care and protection residence adds 10 beds
- New Residential Business Plan being implemented
Whakatakapokai, Child, Youth and Family’s new care and protection residence will be officially opened by Ruth Dyson,
Child, Youth and Family Minister today (27th). Other speakers at the opening include Manukau Mayor, Sir Barry Curtis and
Ray Smith, Child, Youth and Family’s Acting Deputy Chief Executive.
Formerly known as the Northern Residential Centre, this new facility will increase the number of care and protection
beds from 38 to 48 nationwide.
Whakatakapokai’s opening is also the culmination of Child, Youth and Family’s ten-year building programme that has
separated youth justice and care and protection services.
This is an important development, according to Ken Rand, Manager Intensive Services.
“Young people in care and protection residences have different needs to those in youth justice residences. Separating
the campuses enables Child, Youth and Family to focus on programmes specific to each group’s differing needs,” says Mr
Children and young people in care and protection residences are amongst the most vulnerable in the country, often coming
from abusive or neglectful environments. They may have had to contend with family violence, drugs, alcohol abuse or
transiency and as a result they can display complex and difficult behaviours. Young people are referred to residences
because their behaviour is either a risk to themselves or to others and they require 24-hour supervision.
“It’s important that we provide the right kind of environment to address their needs,” said Mr Rand.
Child, Youth and Family is also rolling out a new three-year Residential Business Plan (2005-2008), which is aimed at
ensuring consistency across Residential Services.
“Our new Residential Business Plan began its roll out at the end of last year. Its vision of Safe Environment, Lasting
Change signifies a change from mainly focusing on safe containment to using a young person’s residential placement as an
opportunity to demonstrate that young people can change their self-destructive behaviour,” said Mr Rand.
“By standardising programme and service delivery across all our residences, we can ensure that the kinds of residential
programmes we run will be more tailored to each young person’s specific needs, integrating health, education and
welfare. We want to see our children and young people back in their community on a lasting basis.”
Whakatakapokai’s construction began in February last year by Robert Cunningham Construction Ltd and has cost in the
region of $8.25 million. The facility has a new residential block, a new flat for family visitors and an upgraded school
and administration building. Minor modifications have also been made to the existing gym.
Four young people at the residence have also been working towards the Young New Zealanders’ Challenge Award. Today, one
will be awarded with her Bronze Award by Sir Barry Curtis, Mayor of Manukau. The remaining three will be awarded with
certificates in recognition of completing three of the four sections at Bronze level.
Ken Rand says that Whakatakapokai’s opening cements the future direction of Child, Youth and Family’s Residential
“Right now, we are in a unique position. We have purpose-built facilities, the benefit of research, an understanding of
international best practice and what really works with young people in residential care. We have staff committed to
enabling young people in their care to be the best they can be and we have a management team committed to planned and
“We can and will be a world-leading Residential Services provider through the commitment and contribution of us all. Our
young people and staff should expect nothing less.”