Funding cut threatens youth events
With Government funding drying up, the future of annual youth events in the district beyond the next year is uncertain.
In April, Matamata-Piako District Council made its third and final application to the Ministry of Youth Development’s Partnership Fund.
The ministry granted $18,000, split evenly between Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha, for three youth-led events across the district.
Youth service providers from each town have developed project plans on how they propose to use the funds.
The Youth Empowerment Service in Te Aroha is organising a foam party, while a spookers’ night is being jointly organised by Morrinsville Baptist Church and Te Ahurei A Rangatahi, and Matamata- based Starfish Social Services is hosting an adventure/mud run-style event.
A staff report tabled at the monthly council meeting said planning for all three events is still in the early stages and exact dates have not been confirmed.
However, the Matamata event has been penciled in for mid-December, with the Te Aroha organisers looking at either February or March.
Time frames for the Morrinsville event have yet to be discussed.
Senior communications officer Jenni Cochrane said the council could only apply to the partnership fund three times.
‘‘In all three years we requested just under $70,000 (the maximum amount available) from the fund, and were granted a portion of this each time.’’
In 2013/14 it received $51,000, spent on three youth-led events and three part-time youth coordinators (employed by the designated service providers).
The previous financial year saw the council granted $35,000, which went towards that year’s events and also again to part- time youth coordinators.
Through the initiative, a youth ball was held in Matamata ( December 2012), Top Town at Morrinsville A & P Show (2013) and sports tournament (early 2014), along with a YES Factor Youth Talent Quest in Te Aroha (early 2013) and paint party (later last year).
The council report on this year’s proposed events said the youth service providers from each town undertook a survey at their respective college and among disengaged young people to determine the type of event they wanted organised.
With the council not able to seek ministry funding again for the youth events, councillor Nicki Robb suggested the providers be taught about self-funding.
‘‘They may have to go into the community and get sponsorship,’’ she said. ‘‘It (the youth events programme) is an awesome initiative.’’
BANANA BOXES: Matamata Historical Society book fair volunteers taking part in Operation Banana Box, from left: Colin Kemplen, Meryl Clow, Sue Crawford, Jack Poole, Jim Paton, Don Crawford, Lorna Reynolds and Gabrielle Kemplen, enjoy their morning tea of bananas. They are pictured with just some of the 12,000 books already collected for the annual fair, which will be held in the now confirmed venue, Tables on Broadway. The book fair, which is being run from October 2-4, is a major fundraiser for the historical society each year and will have eftpos available. Donations of books can be dropped off at the Matamata Chronicle office at 2 Tainui St.