Group formed to give Wa­haroa youth range of ac­tiv­ity op­tions

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

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.

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