Roxburgh closure Stand’s call
The Ministry for Children - Oranga Tamariki is holding a regional hui this week with all 525 social services agencies and groups it contracts with, to identify the services children will need in the future.
As part of that process, a meeting will be held with providers from the lower South Island in Balclutha tomorrow, Minister for Children Tracey Martin said.
While the pending closure of the Roxburgh Children’s Village was ‘‘unsettling’’ for some, she stressed that it was a decision for the operator Stand For Children, not the Government. Stand Children’s Services announced on May 15 it was closing its villages at Roxburgh and Otaki.
In a statement to the Clutha Leader on Wednesday, the Min- ister said there was evidently ‘‘emotion involved’’ in the closure but that meant ‘‘a few of the things that are being said aren’t quite right’’.
‘‘The Government isn’t closing the Roxburgh village – that is a decision for Stand, which is a charity and we don’t have control over. There has been no funding cut to Stand. They will receive $20.2 million... next year - $18.1 million from Oranga Tamariki and million from the Ministry.’’
In a joint statement about their online campaign to be launched next Tuesday to keep the Roxburgh service running, Clutha and Central Otago districts mayors and brothers Bryan and Tim Cadogan said they were ‘‘completely sure that there is no replacement service available for the children who would benefit from the residen- $2.1 tial trauma rehabilitation service that the village offers’’.
They urged the public to help lobby government to provide the $1.5 million required per year to keep the service going.
However, the Minister said she wanted ‘‘to be very clear, there will still be services in place in the region to provide the help the 21 children, that at any one time were in the village, need’’.
Minister for Children Tracey Martin has been assured that children’s services will be covered in the south.