The speaker at the last meeting of the Society on 2 June was social worker Chris Haddock, who is Regional Manager with Stand Children’s Services Te Maia Whanau, based at the former Otaki Health Camp. In the beginning in the 1930s the children’s needs were largely for improved physical health, particularly nutrition. Today the focus is on our country’s most vulnerable children and their social and emotional development.
The programmes provide therapeutic care and education to children aged 5 to 12, working at Children’s Villages like the Otaki one, and with the child’s family. The focus is on the individual child’s needs, rather than a regimented programme for all.
There were numerous questions, particularly about the continued use of the Otaki site and the rotunda, a heritage building. This building leaks and requires repairs costing over $1 million. Questions about this and the Otaki site need to be addressed to the Stand National Office.