Police and Child Youth and Family workers have moved in together and will work side-by-side on cases in a bid to ensure victims of serious child abuse and their families get better care.

The co-location site, at the CYF offices in Walton Plaza, Whangarei, is a first for Northland.

Ultimately, both agencies hope it will mean an improved, co-ordinated and effective response to serious child abuse, with the goal of ensuring children are kept safe, offenders held to account and child victimisation reduced.

The child abuse team of 15 full-time equivalent police members moved to their new offices last week.


Northland criminal investigation manager Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said both agencies were seeking safer families and better outcomes for all Northlanders

He said bringing the agencies together would hopefully increase the community's trust in them

"Both agencies will be aware of different aspects of a case. We will be able to respond quicker and put in initiatives to prevent care and protection issues that, if dealt with promptly, can prevent it progressing to neglect and sexual abuse," Mr Burke said.

"We will have immediate access to information by both parties and the ability for immediate joint visits."

The move has meant a logistical shift for CYF staff but it's a move that has been welcomed.

Te Tai Tokerau CYF regional director John Langley said there was historically a great relationship with police and this was another positive step.

Mr Langley said being in the same physical space would allow for more conversations and the benefit of being able to provide a more effective service for young people and their families.

"I think if you want to make inroads and provide a better service and outcomes you have to share more information. It's not to be intrusive but to establish what is relevant and so everyone is operating off a common set of understandings."

The initiative will focus on Whangarei cases but it is hoped the model could be extended throughout Northland.