Security breaches rife at youth facility

  • 05/09/2015
Labour's justice spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern
Labour's justice spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern

The Government has come to the defence of a Christchurch youth corrections facility that the Opposition says is plagued by security breaches.

Labour's justice spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern said new information released about Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo reveals there were more than 600 dangerous incidents at the facility in the 10 months to April.

They included 37 serious instances, such as attempted suicides, assaults and property damage, she said.

Ms Ardern said high staff turnover and poor staffing numbers were to blame for the poor outcome.

"Lack of training was also highlighted in reports on Te Puna Wai," she said.

But Social Development Minister Anne Tolley told Radio NZ that staff at the facility had a difficult job, given the backgrounds of many of the youths.

Improvements to management and increasing staff numbers are already being looked into, she said.

The facility in Rolleston accommodates up to 40 youths between the ages of 14 and 17.