Ngaruawahia put in frame by youth
Youth of Ngaruawahia are set to make their mark in the town with a new action group, Embrace the Future.
Since April, a team of young people has started to get the ball rolling on ideas for youth in the North Waikato town.
Their first project is a picture frame to be erected for visitors and locals to use for photos.
‘‘It’s giving the chance for people visiting Ngaruawahia to remember it,’’ member Wirihana Eriepa said.
The group has invited the town’s residents aged between 12 and 24 years old to come up with designs.
‘‘We wanted a way to get the youth involved in the project... there’s a lot of interest from the kids in the area,’’ Eriepa said.
Once the competition closes on September 10, a panel will judge the entries and the winner will receive a $100 gift voucher.
It’s a start to the many plans the group hopes to implement in the town.
Member Antonia van den Bemd said a youth group meant students of all ages were able to have their voices heard.
‘‘I think that in Ngaruawahia, for a while, the adults tried to decide what youth wanted... and it was all talk talk.’’
She said this platform was more ‘‘stabilised’’ and she is able to present the group’s work at the Ngaruawahia Community Board.
Youth engagement advisor Shannon Kelly initiated the youth groups in our district and helps the groups get to a point where they can run themselves.
Waikato District Council’s general manager of strategy and support Tony Whittaker said the initiative was about getting the younger generation more involved in the community and council matters.
The Youth Engagement Plan was initially developed as part of the Waikato Social Sector Trial, which was launched in 2013 by the Ministries of Social Development, Justice, Education and Health, and the New Zealand Police.
The trial ended in June, but the council decided to continue with it and will review the plan in June 2017.
‘‘We are passionate about having young people engage with council and are committed to achieving our vision of being the most engaged council by 2020.’’
‘‘It also gives adults an opportunity to step back to allow young people to learn in leadership.’’