28 Oct 2008

Children's health camps threatened with closure

9:05 pm on 28 October 2008

An independent financial review is to be carried out on the agency that runs children's health camps.

Te Puna Whaiora, which runs seven camps, wants an increase in funding of $5 million.

Venues at Rotorua, Otaki and Roxburgh could face closure without an extra grant.

On Friday, after a meeting with the Ministry of Social Development, the board of Te Puna Whaiora agreed to delay any decisions about cuts until the outcome of the review.

Chief executive Fiona Inkpen says the ministry gave an assurance that a solution would be found.

The ministry says all of the issues affecting the board's financial situation will be considered over the next six weeks.

Health Camps have operated in New Zealand for more than 82 years and comprise seven sites: Whangarei, Pakaranga, Gisborne, Rotorua, Otaki, Christchurch and Roxburgh.

They are described as being for "vulnerable children and families who are experiencing serious inequalities and are at risk of adverse health, education and welfare outcomes".