A positive future for our youth - 19/12/2011
“There are some great things happening for our young people,” says Jay Rerekura, Co-Chair of the Community Taskforce on Youth Wellbeing.
“The Taskforce meets regularly to discuss ways in which we can support our young people and assist with projects and initiatives to meet their needs. The strength of the Taskforce is being able to bring people from a wide range of organisations and agencies including the Police, health, education and groups who work with young people.
“Our young people are the future and we have re-focussed the work of the Taskforce into three distinct stages in our young peoples lives; from birth to 8 years when our children are dependent and our focus is ‘to empower best parenting to create solid foundations; nine to seventeen years when our children are co-dependent and our focus is ‘education for life through goals, ambition and responsibility for great future; 18 – 24 years when our children are independent and the focus is on the ‘transition to employment and learning self-management, routine, and self-esteem.
“Projects that are proving particularly successful are those based within communities, such as the ‘Stone Soup’ gatherings and the community breakfasts at Tawhero School.
“The Wanganui District Council Youth Committee has been doing some fantastic work led by our youngest Councillor, Jack Bullock. This group of 18 young people, aged between 12 and 24, have organised some awesome events including a skate competition at Castlecliff and the recent ‘Picnic in the Park’.
“Their new $300ship scheme has also provided funding support for ten Wanganui young people to reach their potential in projects and activities they are involved in.
“The ‘For our Kids’ project, an initiative of the Taskforce, is another way in which our young people are supported. It has an important role to play encouraging adults to become active role models for our young people and help them to achieve their goals.”
Cr Philippa Baker-Hogan, Co-Chair of the Taskforce agrees. “There is always going to be more that can be done to help our young people and support them as they transition from children to adults, but we should not lose sight of the fact that Wanganui has a lot to offer.
“We are always reminded of the things in our community that are broken. We sometimes forget to acknowledge and celebrate what is good and what is right about us.
“We can rightly be proud of many of our young people through their education, sporting and community based achievements.”
What is the Community Taskforce on Youth Wellbeing?
The Community Taskforce on Youth Wellbeing, established in 2007, is a collaborative interface between the Council, Iwi, youth services sector and government agencies. The purpose of the Taskforce is to strengthen options, opportunities and positive pathways for Wanganui children and young people.
The taskforce is jointly chaired by Whanganui Iwi and the Wanganui District Council. The current co-chairs are Jay Rerekura and Cr Philippa Baker-Hogan.