More than 1000 signatures have been collected opposing plans for a new Corrections Department facility in Burrows St.

The Department of Corrections has proposed to merge its three Tauranga community services sites into a single office 2693sq m site on Burrows St.

About 100 community offenders would report to the office each weekday and about 60 on Saturdays.

The department has not made a final decision or consent application and was in the process of consulting with the community about the proposal.


Today Avenues area residents took their concerns - and their petition - to Tauranga City Council.

The Grace Rd and Neighbourhood Residents' Association's Phil Green and Lee-Ann Taylor presented to a council meeting.

The pair emphasised the concern in the community about putting the facility in a residential area used by students walking to and from five schools, as well as old and vulnerable people who, as Taylor said, like to take a "daily constitutional".

She said the signatures had been collected in three days from the St Mary's School community and other area residents.

Norm Hockley, speaking for the Baptist Church and 14th Avenue Gospel Centre, said the congregation was also worried.

While corrections had assured the community about the good work it did with the clients who would be visiting the centre, he said the concern was about what those clients would do when they left the building.

"Are they driving around the area looking to see where they might be able to carry out further criminal acts?

"We don't want this building in our area... not that we don't have any concern or compassion for the people they work with."


Mayor Greg Brownless said the council had not received any formal application from Corrections.

"You have been heard, but at this stage, we can't tell you anything more until we receive an application."

Mark Nijssen, district manager for the department, told the Bay of Plenty Times after the meeting the existing corrections sites were located near schools, early learning centres, residential properties and other community facilities.

He said public safety was the top priority.

"Our experience is that offenders attending scheduled appointments at our sites will attend for their appointment and then leave, rather than remain in the area."