Roxburgh clo­sure Stand’s call

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

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’’.

SUP­PLIED

Min­is­ter for Chil­dren Tracey Martin has been as­sured that chil­dren’s ser­vices will be cov­ered in the south.

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