Still hoping Corrections house can be stopped

Te Hapara residents living near a house planned to re-home serious offenders have not given up hope that the Department of Corrections home will not go ahead with it.

Another resident has approached The Gisborne Herald to say neighbours are frustrated and terrified.

She said residents had taken heart from the ability of Cantabrians to persuade Corrections not to re-home one of the country’s worst child sex offenders close to Harewood School.

They still hoped the Gisborne facility would not be opened.

She had been told it would be opened in three to six months.

“It isn’t fair,’’ she said.

“I’ve bought my kids up. I’ve done everything right.

“I feel quite sick.

“I done the right thing, but the offenders — why are they being given help?”

The woman said she was approached by a Corrections official who “told me he could not guarantee my safety”.

“He’s in Wellington — what’s he going to do for me and little children in the area?

“If he can’t guarantee my safety, what’s he going to do about the kids.”

She had helped in organising a petition opposing the facility.

“Only two people have not signed.

“I’ve got 15 pages of signatures.

“Every night, people are asking me about the petition.”

She said there were nearby schools, a playground and a church in the area.

Department of Corrections evidence suggesting about 90 percent of violent and child sex offenders were known to the victim was not reassuring to residents.

The supported accommodation centre would not be under constant supervision.

Corrections officials had visited few homes in the area, she said.

Her neighbours across the road only received a letter and were shocked to find out about the supported accommodation centre.

She disputed official Corrections’ comments that engagement with the public had been “productive’’.

There was a housing shortage in Gisborne, yet criminal offenders were being given a home.

“It’s wrong,” she said.

“Why put it in a residential area.”

There were better locations.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if they were under 24-hour supervision, but they won’t be.”

Te Hapara residents living near a house planned to re-home serious offenders have not given up hope that the Department of Corrections home will not go ahead with it.

Another resident has approached The Gisborne Herald to say neighbours are frustrated and terrified.

She said residents had taken heart from the ability of Cantabrians to persuade Corrections not to re-home one of the country’s worst child sex offenders close to Harewood School.

They still hoped the Gisborne facility would not be opened.

She had been told it would be opened in three to six months.

“It isn’t fair,’’ she said.

“I’ve bought my kids up. I’ve done everything right.

“I feel quite sick.

“I done the right thing, but the offenders — why are they being given help?”

The woman said she was approached by a Corrections official who “told me he could not guarantee my safety”.

“He’s in Wellington — what’s he going to do for me and little children in the area?

“If he can’t guarantee my safety, what’s he going to do about the kids.”

She had helped in organising a petition opposing the facility.

“Only two people have not signed.

“I’ve got 15 pages of signatures.

“Every night, people are asking me about the petition.”

She said there were nearby schools, a playground and a church in the area.

Department of Corrections evidence suggesting about 90 percent of violent and child sex offenders were known to the victim was not reassuring to residents.

The supported accommodation centre would not be under constant supervision.

Corrections officials had visited few homes in the area, she said.

Her neighbours across the road only received a letter and were shocked to find out about the supported accommodation centre.

She disputed official Corrections’ comments that engagement with the public had been “productive’’.

There was a housing shortage in Gisborne, yet criminal offenders were being given a home.

“It’s wrong,” she said.

“Why put it in a residential area.”

There were better locations.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if they were under 24-hour supervision, but they won’t be.”

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Nick, Wellington - 3 days ago
It is understandable that people have reservations about offenders being placed in their community but if we are a society that truly believes in rehabilitating people and not locking them up and throwing away the key, then we need to give them all the help we can give.
If you look at Sweden, where offenders have services and community wrapped around them, they have a very successful rehabilitation programme. In this way offenders have the best chance at becoming functioning, contributing members of society again.

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