The new Community Corrections site in Tauranga is still being decided on as no final decision has been made.
Corrections district manager Mark Nijessn says once community engagement is complete, a decision will be made regarding an application to Tauranga City Council for their consideration and approval of the proposal.
“Community engagement started on July 29 and has been extended to allow sufficient time for local residents to fully engage with the proposal, discuss any concerns and seek further information before providing their feedback.
“No final date for ending the engagement period has been decided. This will occur after all meetings have been completed. At present, engagement is ongoing with local residents and organisations via phone, email and face to face meetings.”
The current site that is proposed for the new corrections site is 36 Burrows Street. Tauranga City Council general manager for regulatory and compliance, Barbara Dempsey says Burrows Street is within the Commercial Zone of the City Plan.
“This zone permits a range of activities. The suitability of the site will be determined by corrections operational needs.
“There has been strong interest from the community regarding the proposed development. Most of which have been registrations of interest and opposition to the proposed facility.
“The concerns raised have been around the proposed facility’s proximity to a residential area and a school, as well as general safety concerns, the potential increase in traffic and demand for car parking.
“We have let them know that we have not received a resource consent application, but acknowledge their concerns,” says Barbara.
Mark says they currently have around 100 staff operating across three existing Community Corrections sites in the Tauranga community.
“Our proposal for a new site in a commercially-zoned area sees these three sites merged into one, with space for 120 staff to take into account future population growth in the Tauranga area. Our existing sites are located near schools, early learning centres, residential properties and other community facilities.
“Public safety is our top priority and we have processes and strategies in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the community, staff and any visitors to our sites.
“Our experience is that offenders attending scheduled appointments at our sites will attend for their appointment and then leave, rather than remain in the area. Any impact on parking will be assessed through the resource consent process.”
On any given day, there are around 30,000 people serving community sentences and orders in New Zealand, including around 650 people in Tauranga, Mark says.
“These sentences or orders are imposed by the Court or New Zealand Parole Board and include home detention, parole, intensive supervision and community work.
“Every sentence or order is made up of conditions that an offender must comply with. Conditions can include reporting to a probation officer, not moving address without consent, not consuming alcohol or drugs, and participation in a rehabilitation programme.
“Probation Officers monitor offenders’ compliance with these conditions, hold them to account for any breaches, and deliver rehabilitation programmes and interventions that help them to live crime free.”