Blue Light working well in Turangi
Turangi youth have been given the ultimate Taupo¯ weekend, courtesy of Blue Light.
On Saturday, 50 Turangi youth were treated to a locals day in Taupo¯ as part of the Blue Light programme.
They started the day off with a Huka Falls Jet ride, followed by a few hours spent at Mind Junction, lunch at the Taupo¯ Police Station. They finished the day off at the Starlight Cinema seeing the latest Thor movie.
Turangi Sergeant, Tere Morunga, said Blue Light has been helping out the youth in Turangi for a while now and it has also been helping his staff to get on better with the youth.
‘‘It helps me and my officers interact with our youth,’’ he said.
‘‘They see us in a different light and we are able to create those relationships where they feel confident to talk to us.’’
Blue Light in Turangi started 10 years ago thanks to three men.
Chris TeWhare, who was the youth aid officer at the time, kickstarted the concept with two van loads going to Auckland for their Big Day Out and it has just grown from there.
Last year alone, 400 kids attended the local events and Morunga said they aim to do even more than that this year.
Turangi Blue Light has been running events for the local kids, giving them an opportunity to do something they couldn’t usually do.
And the community has really come on board with helping them out.
‘‘We wouldn’t have been able to do our most recent event if it wasn’t for the Turangi-Tongariro Community Board approving our grant application,’’ Morunga said.
‘‘We have a primary sponsor, Bay Trust, who help us out heaps and a local contributor who wants to see kids enjoy themselves.
‘‘The community has also come in and sponsor a child for a trip. It’s a real community effort.’’
Morunga said they are also targeting the older teenagers in Turangi, training them up to be future leaders.
‘‘They are coming back and starting to help with our junior kids as adult leaders within Blue Light,’’ he said.
Next month the Turangi Blue Light children are being treated to white water rafting at Rafting NZ, January they will be making their way to Splash Planet and in February they head to the Waimarino Water Park for more water fun.