The Closure of the Templeton Centre
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This M.A. thesis argues that the closure of the Templeton Centre was caused by the convergence of political, social and economic trends in psychopaedic care, occurring in other Western countries. The research paper commences with an historical exploration of the emergence of state institutions. It continues with an investigation of the role scandals played in creating the demand for the closure of psychopaedic institutions. The disability rights movements' discourse of 'normalisation', is shown as the social ideological force in the closure of state institutions, while neo-liberal ideology is seen to exploit deinstitutionalisation for economic gains. The research concludes with an assessment of parental and public reactions to the community placement of people with intellectual disabilities and an analysis of the positive outcomes and negative consequences of deinstitutionalisation. While current research on the closure of the Templeton Centre has explored the effect of deinstitutionalisation on the intellectually disabled and their respective families, the contribution of this research to the subject is its exploration of the sociological causes and effects of the deinstitutionalisation of the Templeton Centre The research methodology involved the collection, collation and interpretation of primary and secondary documents to construct a sociological account of the deinstitutionalistion of the Templeton Centre. The primary sources include health and social welfare documents, newsletters and letters and the secondary sources comprises books, journals and newspaper articles. The principal argument is that the Western political, social and economic ideologies which converged at differing times to create, shape and eventually close psychopaedic institutions, also affected the Templeton Centre (1929 to 1999) in New Zealand. The research paper's conclusion is that Western political, social and economic trends will continue to shape New Zealand Governments' policies on people with intellectual disabilities. Therefore, disability research specialists must continue to study changes on the international stage, to enable them to predict the probable discourses, issues and events which will inevitably occur in New Zealand.