Halfway house explained
It is hoped strict protocols will allay community concerns towards a halfway house being set up in Cannons Creek for ex-prisoners.
Named Te Whare o Tumanko, the facility will be on Champion St and house former inmates who have gone through the faith-based unit at Rimutaka Prison.
No sex offenders will reside at the house.
It will be owned and managed by the Clifford Foundation, which is under Hosanna Church’s governance umbrella.
A board of trustees will be comprised of key people from the community.
The property, formerly two adjoining units, will be purchased from Housing New Zealand with grant funding and renovated to create six bedrooms, two bathrooms upstairs and common areas downstairs.
It will cost $226,000 to set up and has a $98,860 annual budget for the next three years.
A manager and night guardian will be employed at the house. An opening date has yet to be set. Residents will pay $120 a week and there are strict rules on visitors, drugs and alcohol.
They must actively seek work or study and take part in ‘‘house group activities’’.
Representatives from corrections, police and Hosanna fronted a public meeting last week.
Cannons Creek Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairman Aporo Joyce welcomed the open and positive dialogue.
‘‘ You are always going to get people anti this sort of proposal.
‘‘There were a lot of questions and scrutiny around supervision and public safety, but I think it’s good everyone is being out in the open about this.
‘‘Plenty of people are in favour, these guys deserve a chance to become part of the community again.’’
The service will help reintegrate men who have made ‘‘life-changing decisions in the faith-based unit and want to make a difference in their lives, their whanau and their community’’, said Mr Joyce.
Eastern Ward councillors Litea Ah Hoi and Wayne Poutoa supported the facility in principle, but said the safety of nearby residents must be assured.
‘‘There is resistance [from com- munity members] but ex-prisoners need to live somewhere. This way you’re not isolating them,’’ said Ms Ah Hoi.
Mr Poutoa said the right mechanisms need to be in place and the service should be tailored to low-risk ex-inmates.
Kapiti- Mana police area commander Inspector John Price says there were ongoing meetings with members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Cannons Creek.
‘‘ We do recognise that people need to be released into the community, after being held accountable for their crimes.
‘‘This comes down to detail and we need to work through that, especially with Probation [Services], to ensure the public’s safety.’’
Corrections’ community probation services manager Matire Kupenga Wanoa said they support Te Whare o Tumanko and will work to ensure there is no risk to the community.