The Kāpiti Coast District’s new Youth Development Centre built in partnership with Zeal Education Trust is a finalist in this year’s Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE awards in the Social Wellbeing category.
Kāpiti Coast District Council Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow says that the Youth Development Centre is the result of many years’ collaborative vision, planning, and hard work, and is pleased that it is being recognised.
“The Council has been a supporter of the Youth Development Centre’s creation since 2013, but its inception was absolutely a youth-led initiative that would never have been realised without the generous support of local businesses and the Kāpiti community. They all recognised that our District needed a safe place for youth to meet, learn, and grow and worked hard to make the Youth Development Centre a reality.”
“The Centre’s model is tailored to the needs of young people in our geographically and culturally distinctive communities – it’s outwardly focused with satellite services offered around our communities with existing organisations. The end goal is to enhance social wellbeing by supporting young people develop skills, fostering whanaungatanga, and providing safe youth gatherings. It works,” Ms Holborow says.
The partnership developed with young people is unique. Young people participated in Council briefings and the design and delivery of engagement and consultation. The Council supported its youth council to raise awareness of the Long Term Plan consultation on the Youth Development Centre among young people which achieved over 300 youth submissions in support. Young people were involved in the advisory group and on the procurement panel alongside the Council and community leaders.
Zeal General Manager David Orchard says the Youth Development Centre has positively changed the face of the Kāpiti Coast community by offering a wide variety of programming.
“The Centre directly addresses the specific needs of our District’s young people. It was built using strategies they developed themselves and engaged the wider community. It was conceived by them, designed by them, and now that it’s operational, it’s the youth who use it. It’s a powerful formula that is leading Kāpiti Coast’s youth strongly into the future.”
Category winners will be announced at a gala dinner during the LGNZ Conference, to be held in Wellington on 8 July 2019.