Group of teenagers escape onto roof of Auckland youth justice facility

A group of teenagers have spent a cold, wet night on the roof of an Auckland youth justice facility.

Police confirmed they are in attendance at the the Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice Residence in Wiri and are supporting Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive Mike Bush said on Sunday five young people spent the night on the roof and within its cavity. 

Stuff reports the teenagers can be seen on the roof armed with pipes and bits of metal.

Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) crews are on the scene helping Oranga Tamariki staff resolve the incident.

Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice Residence in Wiri.
Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice Residence in Wiri. Photo credit: Google Maps

In an update at 9pm on Saturday, Bush told Newshub six people remain on the roof.

"I am on site leading the operation and we have a large contingent of Police and one FENZ unit assisting," Bush said.

"Our priority is the safety of these young people and we are managing this situation with extreme caution, especially with the wet weather forecast overnight."

Bush said Oranga Tamariki staff are practising safe, reasonable negotiation tactics and working to de-escalate the situation.

"The young people are within the boundary of the facility and there is no risk to public safety," Bush told Newshub.

Bush confirmed to Newshub the initial number on the roof was six teenagers. He said it increased to eight but at 9pm six remain on the roof.

It comes a week after five teenagers made it onto the roof at the Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo youth justice facility near Christchurch.

One teenager came down, but the remaining four stayed up for around 24 hours. It was later revealed fast food was used in the negotiations and the teens were given KFC after they surrendered.

A staff member suffered a fractured wrist in the incident and it's reported the offenders smashed their way into the roof cavity and hurled projectiles at people on the ground below.

This didn't go down well with ACT Party leader David Seymour who said the reward for the five youths for attempting to escape a facility, damage taxpayer property and injuring a staff member is KFC.

"These are Labour's values in action and they will doom a nation. It also shows why youth imprisonment should be done by Corrections instead of Oranga Tamariki," Seymour said.

Seymour said everyday Kiwis who pay their taxes and follow the rules are terrorised by criminals in their workplaces, have their cars broken into and feel unsafe when they're out walking.

"But their money is used to reward people who don't follow the rules. At the heart of New Zealand's crime problem is that failure of values," Seymour said.

"Labour's priorities are reducing the prison population, removing three strikes, funding cultural reports for convicted crims pre-sentencing, and now giving KFC to escapees. Everything but the rights of law-abiding New Zealanders."