Kid power re­leased

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/OPINION - By TESSA JOHNSTONE

Com­mu­nity projects de­signed and run by kids could be springing up all over Porirua un­der a new ini­tia­tive called the Kids’ Part­ner­ship Pro­gramme.

Run by Part­ners Porirua and funded by Porirua City Coun­cil, the pro­gramme is aimed at giv­ing chil­dren and young peo­ple a chance to get in­volved in their com­mu­nity.

Sup­ported by schools, chil­dren will iden­tify projects which ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity, such as mak­ing over a pub­lic space or com­ing up with fun ac­tiv­i­ties for youth, and then work­ing with coun­cil and oth­ers in the com­mu­nity, de­sign and carry it out.

‘‘It’s got a start and a stop but we are not fo­cus­ing on the end, we’re fo­cus­ing on the learn­ing and the jour­ney,’’ Part­ners Porirua business ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ta­tor Jane Hock­ing told city coun­cil­lors last Thurs­day.

Civic par­tic­i­pa­tion was a sub­ject teach­ers were keen to teach chil­dren about but it was not taught at school – so a hands-on project was a good way to in­stil the val­ues, she said.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said it was a pos­i­tive way to get chil­dren and young peo­ple in­volved in the vil­lage plan­ning process.

‘This is about the next step in open­ing up our vil­lage pro­gramme and say­ing ac­tu­ally, if a kid says ‘ can you get me a new skate­board park in Whitby’, we can say, no, first you tell us how to go about it,’’ Leggett said.

‘‘It’s sen­si­ble to ask them to cre­ate the so­lu­tion to their de­sires.’’

Coun­cil­lor Bron­wyn Kropp said she did not support the pro­posal be­cause it was not pro­vided for in the An­nual Plan – it will cost $10,000 ini­tially – and would throw other pri­or­i­ties out of bal­ance.

Fund­ing will be re­viewed after a year and could be­come part of the 2015-25 long term coun­cil plan, if suc­cess­ful.

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