Youth zones for Taihape, Marton
The Rangitikei District Council has rewarded its growing younger demographic with the redevelopment of ‘youth zones’ in Marton and Taihape.
The two new facilities are based at the same location as the previous youth facilities, known then as Youth Hutts.
The council’s strategy and community planning manager Denise Servante said the zones provided an after-school hangout for those aged over 11, free of charge.
The clubs encouraged youth to participate and help co-ordinate various community and youth events, as well as providing a safe space to meet friends.
The new services are coordinated by two new part-time youth workers, one each in Marton and Taihape.
Servante said they would like to extend on the initial focus of providing after-school programmes.
‘‘The aim is to build on these after-school programmes, but extend out to what young people in these areas would like – that might involve inviting other agencies to come in and run programmes,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re trying to find a more sustainable model for that.’’
Servante hoped youth spaces would lead to young people becoming more passionate about their community.
‘‘An important part of this is making sure young people feel some sort of connection with the district, so when they head off to university, or their OE, they return to raise their families and grow up here in the Rangitikei.
‘‘There’s three key groups the council tries to engage – older people, attracting and maintaining families and then young people – the youth zones tick two of those boxes,’’ she said.
The extension to after-school programmes comes after consultation with young people at the Level Up Youth forum in Bulls earlier this year.
They wanted safe, youth-led spaces to connect, hang out and find out about all the activities and opportunities available in the area.
A range of activities will be available in the youth zones and adult volunteers and mentors are encouraged to get involved to help young people succeed through life.
People can contact Nadia Gower to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young people at the Taihape Youth Zone.