Half­way house ex­plained

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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