Youth Development Units on the way

March 18 2019

Two new youth development units (YDU) are taking shape at either end of the North Island thanks to the hard work of Defence Estate and Infrastructure.

A 160-bed purpose-built facility is currently under construction in Whenuapai and will open in June.  It replaces leased facilities at Motu Moana.  A new 90-bed facility (pictured below) at Trentham is also under development and is due to be completed in June.  Once open, the units will be home to youths participating in six week Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) courses run in partnership with Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

Until now the YDUs were run out of Burnham Military Camp in the South Island and two separate venues in Auckland.   There was no facility in the central region.

Agreement with a Hutt Valley developer has been reached for a site across the road from Trentham Camp, to be developed using a combination of existing and relocated buildings. 

The two new units mean that the number of young people able to attend the LSV courses will double from 800 to 1600 a year.  

Both the Auckland and Trentham facilities will contain barracks/dorms and ablutions, classrooms, a lecture theatre and office space for YDU staff as well as staff from MSD and the NZ Police.

The proximity of the YDU in Trentham (pictured) is necessary for the provision of meals for trainees as well as all recreational, training and support facilities the camp offers.

The huge growth in the course’s capacity is creating opportunities for NZDF personnel interested in training youth.  Fifty-two extra trainers and staff will be needed, mainly in Whenuapai and Trentham to add to the current 98 Youth Development Unit personnel.

NZDF supports a range of Youth Development Unit programmes alongside the LSV scheme, including the NZ Cadet Forces, the Ministry of Education’s Service Academy Programme and the Blue Light programme.

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