29 Jun 2018

Roxburgh Children's village shuts after social service funding runs dry for Stand

2:40 pm on 29 June 2018

The lower South Island's only residential village for vulnerable children closes its doors to children and their families for the last time today after first opening in 1941.

Bryan Cadogan, left, and younger brother Tim Cadogan yesterday as they celebrated the results.

Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan and Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan tried to save the village. Photo: Supplied

Stand Children's Services, which operates Roxburgh Children's Village, announced the closure in May, citing a lack of funding and financial pressures.

At the time, Stand chief executive Fiona Inkpen said the organisation had not received a funding increase since 2009, and it needed a $3 million boost from the government to cover costs.

Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan and Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan spearheaded a public campaign to save the village, meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the eleventh hour in a bid to prevent the closure.

She confirmed the government was unable to meet Stand's request.

Bryan Cadogan said the village provided a safe haven and a specialised residential trauma-focused treatment programme, and the decision placed vulnerable children in a precarious situation.

The existing services in the area were "stretched like violin strings", he said.

Oranga Tamariki partnerships general manager Peter Galvin said the region was well served by a range of highly experienced and respected organisations.

"Although some families and children may understandably feel disappointed to lose the option of a residential village, we are confident they will receive support, though in the setting of their own home," Mr Galvin said.

Stand's contract ends on 30 June.