A new youth fes­ti­val for sum­mer

Whanganui Chronicle - - Front Page - Abe Leach [email protected]­hron­i­cle.co.nz

Mu­sic, sport and men­tal health are the fo­cus of a new youth fes­ti­val set for Ma­jes­tic Square next week.

The Hi­nen­garo Ran­gatahi Fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by the Whanganui District Coun­cil Youth Com­mit­tee, aims to im­prove the well­be­ing of young peo­ple in the district.

Youth com­mit­tee project sup­port of­fi­cer Ni­cole Grey said the fes­ti­val in­cludes a basketball com­pe­ti­tion, games and ac­tiv­i­ties based around health and well­be­ing, and per­for­mances by lo­cal bands.

This year the fes­ti­val re­places Vibe, which was also or­gan­ised by the com­mit­tee and has been held in De­cem­ber at Cooks Gar­dens since 2017.

Grey said they were not in a po­si­tion to go ahead with Vibe this year due to changes in staff and roles, and the com­mit­tee not be­ing able to have for­mal meet­ings dur­ing this year’s elec­tion pe­riod.

“Vibe has a great rep­u­ta­tion as a re­ally large-scale event so you don’t want to at­tempt that and not be able to pull it off.”

Men­tal health will be a sig­nif­i­cant as­pect of the Hi­nen­garo Ran­gatahi Fes­ti­val, which steps up col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal agen­cies work­ing in the field.

“For this fes­ti­val we wanted to make sure that there was some­thing that young peo­ple could ac­tu­ally go away with,” Grey said.

“Not just peo­ple pro­mot­ing what they have in the way of sup­port but ac­tu­ally for young peo­ple to en­gage and have some kind of ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the fes­ti­val as well.”

Some of the or­gan­i­sa­tions tak­ing part in the fes­ti­val in­clude Nga¯ Tai O Te Awa, Whanganui District Health Board, Revo­lu­tion Youth and 100% Sweet.

Grey said some of the or­gan­i­sa­tions had done their own pro­mo­tion for the event and seen in­ter­est.

“Peo­ple are re­ally pos­i­tive about the idea and there are lots of cre­ative ideas that may not be able to be pulled off this time, but peo­ple can un­der­stand the vi­sion and space.

“The pos­i­tive feed­back is around of­fer­ing some­thing for ev­ery­one, so if you’re not sporty or mu­si­cal, mak­ing sure there’s some­thing for those young peo­ple to do as well.

“Ev­ery­one’s on board with the men­tal-health fo­cus which shows how far we’re start­ing to move in the right direc­tion.”

The Hi­nen­garo Ran­gatahi Fes­ti­val is free and takes place at Ma­jes­tic Square from 4pm to 8pm on De­cem­ber 13.

Photo / Lewis Gard­ner

Ocean Loaf is one of the lo­cal acts sched­uled to play at the fes­ti­val.

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