May 29, 2023

Staff member stabbed with makeshift weapon at Christchurch youth justice facility after five teens escape onto roof

Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo Youth Justice Facility in Rolleston near Christchurch.

A staff member was stabbed at a youth justice facility near Christchurch on Monday after five teenagers tried to escape. 

The teenagers tried to break out of Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo Youth Justice Facility in Rolleston at around 8:30pm. 

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive of service delivery Rachel Leota said the five youngsters managed to get onto the roof during their attempted escape. 

Leota said they spent around three and a half hours on the roof before they were brought down. 

NZ Herald reports the breakout was a result of “clear planning” as the group staged a distraction at a separate unit to draw the attention of staff, before kicking open a glass window and climbing onto the unit’s roof.

At this point, the group was confronted by a staff member and one of the young people allegedly used a sharp makeshift weapon to stab the worker.

Leota said a staff member was injured during the attempted escape and one person was taken into custody.

Police said one person has been charged with common assault while charges are still being considered for the other four.

Leota said Oranga Tamariki will be conducting a review into the matter.

The youth facility can fit up to 40 young people and is one of four Oranga Tamariki youth justice residences in New Zealand and the only one in the South Island.

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