Expansion of youth activities to Hawea planned

Youth workers Emma Hunter, Hemi Cordell and Richard Elvey, from Wanaka’s Kahu Youth Trust, enjoy...
Youth workers Emma Hunter, Hemi Cordell and Richard Elvey, from Wanaka’s Kahu Youth Trust, enjoy a moment of calm before group of young people arrive at their Russell St crib. The trust is holding a drop-in session at the Hawea Community Centre on Monday to talk about its planned expansion into Hawea this year. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
The youth of Hawea are set to be given a voice as well as a safe and secure environment to socialise in.

But first they get to have a say on what they want and how they want it to be run.

On Monday, Kahu Youth will host a drop-in session at the Hawea Community Centre between 6pm and 8pm to hear feedback on the "needs, wants and desires" for a youth facility to be established in Hawea this year.

Youth worker Richard Elvey said feeling cut-off was one of the main issues for young people in township, made worse by a lack of transport options.

It might only be a 15-minute drive from Hawea to Wanaka but a parent or caregiver had to drive 15 minutes each way to drop off and pick up, and that was time-consuming and expensive, Mr Elvey said.

At present, 600 youths were registered with Kahu Youth which operated from a 120sqm house, known as the Crib, in Russell St.

Between November and February, 247 individual youths aged between 11 and 24 years old attended the facility.

In 2020, the Central Lakes Trust significantly increased the size of its grant to the trust.

Youth workers Hemi Cordell and Emma Hunter joined the staff of Kahu Youth in December.

Mr Cordell said "with our planned expansion we would effectively be providing the only physical space for the youth of Hawea to socialise and generally hang out in a safe and secure environment, a supervised environment".



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