Stand village closure ‘national shame’

Tim Cadogan
Tim Cadogan
Children and their families bid farewell to the Stand Children’s Services village in Roxburgh yesterday, as it closed down its live-in service.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said yesterday the closure was a "national shame".

"Shame on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for not honouring the promise to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child and for believing what Minister Martin told her."

Stand chief executive  Fiona Inkpen said an informal farewell would be held at the site on Monday from 2pm-4pm  for referral agents and interested parties.

Dr Inkpen asked  those interested in attending to call Stand to express their interest.

Mr Cadogan said there was a focus on "intensive intervention services" in Oranga Tamariki’s five-year strategy. The Otago Daily Times contacted the Government to find out if this could reopen the villages in Roxburgh and Otaki.

Oranga Tamariki’s Strategic Intentions 2017-22 document, published in September 2017 by the previous government, said intensive intervention services were a focus for  2018-19 and 2019-20.

The document said in this time, Oranga Tamariki would build a "quality assessment" process to identify the support and services for children and their families.

The live-in service at the Stand villages was classed as an intensive intervention service.

Minister for Children Tracey Martin said it was "too early to say" if the villages could reopen.

She said Oranga Tamariki was having a "closer look" at all its services and the work it did with Stand.

"However, Oranga Tamariki cannot pre-empt what that will reveal, or what may result from it."

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