Earlier this year, it was found that the Otaki Children’s Health Camp was at risk of closing down due to a lack of funding. The camp hadn’t seen an increase in Government funding since 2009 and was unlikely to see one in the near future.
Tracey Martin, Minister for Children has previously stated that the closure of the camps wasn’t anything to do with the government.
“There was a pressure across a range of areas including health and education for extra government spending and it wasn’t possible to meet all of the demands”
The health camp programs, provided by Stand’s Children’s Services, are essential to improving the wellbeing of children at potential mental risk, due to trauma or other events. The closure of health camps would effect 380 primary school aged children treated annually for health and behaviour issues.
63 people would lose their jobs due to the closure of the camps in both Otaki and Otago.
Stand Children’s Services are going to be working with the government to reinstate the health camps. Fiona Inkpen, Stand’s chief executive hopes that the reinstatement can be achieved within a couple of years.
“Stand will do everything it can do to work with government to reinstate the Roxburgh and Otaki Children’s Villages so the residential trauma-focused treatment service or children can be available in both regions, as it is in Stand’s other five regions”
Peter Galvin, partnerships general manager at Oranga Tamariki – the government ministry responsible for the wellbeing of children – has said that the ministry puts $16.7 million of $18.1 million into funding for Stand’s services.