Blue Light work­ing well in Tu­rangi

Taupo Times - - MOTORING - STEPH RANGI

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.

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