Group formed to give Waharoa youth range of activity options
A committee to steer a group that aims to help Waharoa youth has been created.
Newly elected chairman David Kaukau started the Waharoa Community Youth Group three weeks ago. The group gained its name and a four-member committee on April 24.
The deputy chairman is Wayne Takerei, the secretary is Zoey Hauraki and the treasurer is Maru Tuhakaraina. The group has already received donations. It will also look for funding, once it has a plan of attack.
Kaukau, a former truancy officer for Matamata College, called together a group of local concerned parents over Easter. Through the group they organised a trip for two vanloads of Waharoa youth to go to Rotorua. Kaukau knows boredom is the biggest cause of youth getting into trouble so he wants to organise regular activities and trips.
The youth group has also created a neighbourhood watch, which takes any children back to their parents’ houses after the group started enforcing a curfew. All children need to be home by dark. The group also has a breakfast and after-school roster for youth.
The group will work closely schools and the police.
Kaukau started the group because he was sad to hear about local children getting stood down at school. ‘‘I don’t put all the blame on the kids,’’ he said.
‘‘The blame also goes on where that child has come from. There is blame on the whanau as well.’’
He said he wasn’t perfect and he would expect other locals to be firm with his
with own grandchildren if they were causing issues.
He said all the Waharoa families needed to work together, even if their children aren’t causing concerns.
The group was also working with local businesses.
Kaukau visits Waharoa businesses regularly to make sure they don’t have any issues with things like graffiti.
He said the graffiti-covered hall made him feel he was living in Otara instead of his hometown.
He had organised paint to cover up the graffiti and was looking for volunteers to help with this.
The next meeting is on May 1 at 3pm at the old Waharoa Bowling Club on Mowbray Rd. The focus of that meeting will be to plan what services and activities the group will offer.