A welcome ceremony was held this week to mark the opening of the new Community Probation Service Centre in Feilding.
CPS Feilding Service Centre Manager Avril Ward said the official opening and site blessing were a great opportunity to recognise the importance of the community into the work of the Service Centre.
Around 70 people, including Feilding Mayor Ian McKelvie, CPS staff and community stakeholders attended the welcome at the Weld Street site, which included a blessing of the building by kuia Kahu Durie and representatives from Ngati Kauwhata.
“To be successful in our role of managing offenders in the community we need the support of local agencies and of local people to help us ensure that offenders serve their sentences and learn skills that help prevent them from re-offending.”
Avril said the involvement of community groups was especially important for offenders on community work, where free labour was provided for approved projects, such as graffiti removal, site clearance and the upkeep of local community resources.
Offenders on community work sentences had already been heavily involved in local projects, including creating a 3.5 kilometre track in Mount Lees reserve and CPS was interested in assisting other local community groups with suitable community work projects.
“Any suggestions the community has for this type of work will be welcome.”
Avril said that CPS had operated in Feilding since 1988, but had been searching for some time for an alternate location to set up its own dedicated site.
The service centre will house 14 staff including a service manager, probation officers, administration staff and community work supervisors.
“Developing a new site has meant that we now have purpose built facilities for staff to work in and to organise community work groups from.”
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