• Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

The rate of young people absconding from the Northern Residential Centre in Manurewa, Auckland dropped 71% for 1 January to 30 May 1997, compared to the same period last year, says Minister of Social Welfare, Hon. Roger Sowry.

From 1 January to 30 May 1997, 22 young residents absconded from the Northern Residential Centre (NRC) compared to 76 for the same period last year. No-one has absconded from the secure unit this year.

"I believe this is a direct result of appointing Sidney Maguire as permanent manager at NRC, in November 1996. Mr Maguire has provided a sense of stability and direction for the Centre which was difficult to achieve with a series of temporary managers," he says.

Mr Sowry visited the NRC earlier this year to meet with Mr Maguire, staff and to view the Centre.

"I was very impressed with what I saw. The staff volunteered to me that morale had improved greatly since Mr Maguire came on board which has obviously had an effect on reducing the number of abscondings," Mr Sowry says.

Mr Sowry also emphasised that from 14 March 1997 until today just two young people had absconded from the Northern Residential Centre.