Groups develop plan of action after survey of district’s youth
A Youth Action Plan is being developed to counter the ‘‘ nothing to do/ nowhere to go’’ scenario which young people say pervades the district.
Results of a survey of 276 young people aged between 12 and 24 conducted by the Ministry of Youth Development, Matamata- Piako District Council, Starfish, Te Ahuri a Rangatahi and the Youth Empowerment Service were presented at last week’s council corporate and operations committee meeting.
It revealed the three most important things for young people in the district were family, education and friends.
The three main sources of worry were good grades at school, family and money.
Respondents wanted a focus on creating more employment opportunities for young people, along with positive role models and school support through extra- curricular activities.
Drugs and alcohol, bullying/ peer pressure and nothing to do were the biggest issues facing young people in the district.
Only 41 per cent knew of an organisation or person they could contact for help with their issues and concerns.
‘‘ Most desired activities’’ included sport, music and performing arts, and community events or fairs.
The report said young people wanted a place where they could ‘‘ hang out’’, plus organised activities, youth groups and events.
The survey revealed that most young people were ‘‘ relatively content’’ with their community.
If they were mayor, respondents would improve or create youth facilities and events, improve recreational facilities and make the community safer.
‘‘ Boredom and having nothing to do is a challenge for young people,’’ said the survey.
Blair Gilbert, regional team leader for the Ministry of Youth Development, said the next step was to organise a stakeholder meeting including schools and the police to contribute to the action plan. This should be undertaken in the next two months, said Mr Gilbert.