Cash to help Porirua kids
‘‘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