New youth development facility opens at Whenuapai

June 25 2019

A new 160 bed youth development facility has been officially opened at RNZAF Base Auckland by Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Associate Social Development Minister Peeni Henare.

The new facility will host 640 young people taking part in the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme each year.  LSV is a residential six week programme run jointly by NZDF and the Ministry of Social Development aimed at helping turn around the lives of at risk young people.

Minister Mark told guests at the opening ceremony that the LSV programme in its current form had been in place for 25 years and he remembered it from his time as a Lance Corporal in Burnham as being a programme that provided  valuable skills to the young people who participated.

“It is today as it was then, a very valuable course which has made a difference in the lives of so many people, and it’s still making that difference.  This is a wonderful day, we have every reason to celebrate,” he said.

The facilities were delivered by Defence Estate and Infrastructure.  Ministerial approval was granted in July 2017 and the Minister of Defence turned the first sod in 23 February 2018.  The soil from that sod turning was used to plant a tree in the grounds of the facility by the Ministers during the official opening.

HDEI Mark Brunton thanked everyone involved in the development and construction of the facility, particularly project manager Jonathan Whiting and Estate Delivery Manager Bahjet Al-Khudairi.   

“This project consists of 15 separate buildings constructed concurrently, 350 workers from 45 different companies and suppliers and 76,500 labour hours.  More importantly there were zero serious accidents. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,” he said.

Another LSV facility is currently under construction at Trentham Army Camp, due to open in August.

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