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To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Children Tracey Martin

Gives Us Back Our Camps

Gives Us Back Our Camps

We ask to save STAND children’s health camps from closure and for the Government to reconsider its position and give STAND camp the funding that had been allocated for its services for the past 99 years.

Ask this government to stay true to its elections promise of 'children first'.

Why is this important?

The Government has forced a historic specialist social service for children with mental disorders to close its doors in Otaki and Roxburgh regions.

The children who come to them have been legally diagnosed with behavioural disorders under the mental health system and these children are exposed to other difficulties, sometimes resulting in neglect, abuse, discrimination and other trauma which sees them becoming uncontrollable and anti-social. Behaviourial disorders cause children from as young as 4 years of age exhibiting aggressive and violent outbursts. Children and young people who are at significant risk of harm to themselves and others.

I am a single mum of two children aged 11 & 12 and our personal experience with STAND has been the most uplifting experience we have ever had. My 12 year old suffers severe ADHD, ODD (Over distress disorder) PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and bipolar and our family also survived domestic violence. My children feeling like they had to protect me, having forgotten that they are children and placing themselves into an adult role, having lost their childhood and what it means to be a child. There are thousands of children in NZ that have lost the essence of what being a child really is.

My family were referred to STAND in 2015. From that day my children's lives have come right, my children no longer needing to protect me from harm, my children for the first time being able to be children. Domestic violence can have a traumatic impact on children with and without special needs. Respite reforms these children and their families to a new beginning and understanding of their distress (not the behaviour). Only with respite can these children learn to control and manage their behaviour to better themselves for the future.

Children who have attended these camps have been legally diagnosed with behavioural disorders and are also victims to severe trauma in their innocent lives. Imagine how scary life is for these little ones to experience family violence. STAND have helped hundreds and thousands of children in these situations for the past 99 years.

The closure of the STAND respite camps in the lower parts of the North and South island could see a higher risk of child suicides, domestic violence and a higher crime rate by children and youths. The Otaki camp have had a high number of children from the Wellington region attend.

Closure of these camps will put an enormous strain on government agencies such as the police, Oranga Tamariki and community organisations that are ill equipped to deal with the needs of mentally distressed children.

Why get rid of a service that has had a consistent success rate over 99 years? Why does government not understand that STAND has been providing a wrap around service that covered respite as well as social worker interventions that have been successful over the years?

To date, the new systems and services that the minister for children claims to be available are not as easily accessible services for parents and caregivers. In fact this new system of services makes the lives of these families more hectic and stressful with having to deal with 4 - 6 different agencies.

Both camps closures cover the lower North and South island regions of the country - half the country no longer have access to the respite services.

Sign my petition to show your support.

Where to get help:

Lifeline - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (8 am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email

How it will be delivered

To the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Children, Tracey Martin

New Zealand

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Because I have a son waiting to go to camp I had my eldest go 5 times . It's a very important part of our society we need this camp
  • New to the area and we need help and support and activities for Mr 5 with undiagnosed awaiting specialist assessment with adhd.
  • Along with my siblings, I attended the Otaki Health Camp in the mid 60's. I have very happy & fond memories of this place that are still with me to this day.


2018-05-28 16:15:42 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2018-05-22 10:16:15 +1200

500 signatures reached

2018-05-12 20:45:47 +1200

100 signatures reached

2018-05-11 15:42:09 +1200

50 signatures reached

2018-05-10 22:38:15 +1200

25 signatures reached

2018-05-10 16:58:03 +1200

10 signatures reached