Cash to help Porirua kids

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JARED NI­COLL

‘‘The unique thing about Porirua is we have 40 per cent chil­dren and young peo­ple, and we want to re­flect that in the de­ci­sion mak­ing we do.’’

Porirua kids will get the chance to pitch ed­u­ca­tional ideas to the city coun­cil in the hope of get­ting $500 grants.

Porirua City Coun­cil has agreed to re­place some ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity funds with a new Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple’s Fund worth $169,000 aimed at di­rectly sup­port­ing the city’s youth.

With about 40 per cent of its 55,000 res­i­dents aged un­der 25, Porirua is one of the youngest ci­ties in the coun­try when it comes to pop­u­la­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Ana Cof­fey, one of the driv­ing forces be­hind the fund, said the coun­cil needed to ‘‘put its money where its mouth is’’ given one of its top pri­or­i­ties is youth.

‘‘The unique thing about Porirua is we have 40 per cent chil­dren and young peo­ple, and we want to re­flect that in the de­ci­sion mak­ing we do,’’ she said.

‘‘This is re­ally about what an im­por­tant re­source chil­dren and young peo­ple are, and get­ting them to be­come the maker of their own des­tinies ... it’s the fu­ture work­ing pop­u­la­tion of the Welling­ton re­gion.’’

The money, which should be­come avail­able early next year, will be split be­tween a strate­gic fund worth $135,000 and an in­no­va­tion fund worth $34,000.

The strate­gic fund will fo­cus on sup­port­ing ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at ar­eas in need, par­tic­u­larly those who do not get the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as oth­ers.

The in­no­va­tion fund will sup­port small or­gan­i­sa­tional projects up to $5000 and in­di­vid­ual or small groups of chil­dren and young peo­ple with fund­ing up to $500 for things like lead­er­ship, men­tor­ing, and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said the fund­ing could be for any­thing from de­liv­er­ing free mu­sic lessons to sup­port­ing young peo­ple to have a say in the coun­cil’s An­nual Plan.

‘‘[Chil­dren] don’t get a chance to vote, but if we’ve got such a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of chil­dren in the city, it’s a good pri­or­ity to have,’’ he said.

Coun­cil­lor Ana Cof­fey

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