11 September 2018
Proposals are being put together for a new Rotorua “youth village” on a large area of land off Fenton Street near the city centre.
The proposal includes the area including the current Rotorua Youth Centre and potentially other properties near the start of Te Ngae Road, extending through to land adjacent to the current recycling centre.
The Mud met with Kelley Korau, Te Waiariki Purea Trust team leader events and activities, and Ben Jacobs, Te Waiariki Purea Trust youth development officer.
The trust is working with other agencies on a proposal which will see youth services “co-located” to a single location.
“The idea is to extend on the current Youth Centre and turn the surrounding area into an all-inclusive youth campus,” says Ben.
The development will take at least five years of planning and construction, although they stress it is still in the idea phase with discussions underway with four other agencies, including the Youth Trust and the Rotorua Lakes Council.
The trust will initially take the ideas from the other agencies and wrap them into a package which then be presented to young people for feedback on how they see them fitting with their aspirations and needs.
Te Waiariki Purea Trust has been in existence for 30 years, Kelley says, so developing the youth village is an ideal way to celebrate going into year-31.
The trust’s first project was “Moving On”, which was done under The Hillary Commission, now known as Sparc (Sport and Recreation New Zealand).
Now that the other parties involved in the new project have provided their perspectives, the trust will develop a team of 10-15 young people aged between 12 and 24 years. The team members will go out to their interest groups to get feedback on the proposals, at the same time developing their public speaking and leadership skills.
As such, the youth team will be able to take a final proposal to the council and other project partners.
Kelley says a key element in the proposal is for all youth services to be in the same place, rather than having them located in different areas of the city.
Ben also notes that a primary problem for rangitahi is access to transport, so having youth village in a single location will go a long way to helping them access services.