Chris Hipkins 'not comfortable' after second group of teens escapes onto youth justice facility roof

The five teenagers who escaped to the roof of a youth justice facility in Auckland are now in police custody.

Oranga Tamariki says the group caused significant damage during the 40-hour standoff. The ministry's now facing criticism for treating them to KFC and McDonald's. 

Fire and Emergency (FENZ), Police negotiators, and a huge amount of resources deployed to a youth justice facility in south Auckland at the weekend after five inmates decided to go on an excursion to the roof.

They spent nearly two days atop the Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice Residence before the last of them came down at 10:30pm on Sunday night. They're now in police custody.

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive Tusha Penny said she was "not going to apologise for it taking so long when it was resolved safely".

"No one was hurt, and we do have to be patient - these are young people."

The teenagers escaped onto the roof of the facility in Wiri on Saturday at about midday. They were armed with makeshift weapons and managed to smash their way into a roof cavity and gained access to an area with a kitchen and supplies.

Oranga Tamariki said the group caused a significant amount of damage and yet, when they finally came down last night they were treated to takeaways.

"They got KFC and McDonald's to come down," Penny told Newshub.

The same thing happened a week earlier at a facility in Christchurch, where a group of youths were lured down from the roof with KFC.

"I'm not comfortable with what happened in the youth justice facilities. I've got the Minister for Children looking at what our options are to prevent these things from happening again," said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

ACT leader David Seymour said it's simple - put Corrections in charge of kids who commit crime.

"They should have been in a secure Corrections facility that is about punishment and rehabilitation."

But youth worker Aaron Hendry disagrees. He told Newshub children who offend come from a background of "complex trauma".

"There's often disconnection, disabilities, harm, lack of community connection, right? We focus on those things, respond to those needs, and we prevent victims [from] being created in the first place."

Hendry believes the youth justice system needs a complete redesign.

"The youth justice residences aren't up to scratch."

Penny said "there's a lot of talk around youth justice", but added "the reality is we can't get rid of them in the short and even the medium term".

So, it seems youth facilities are here to stay and youth advocates fear the problems are too.