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1700 young people’s voice is heard by council


For immediate release

21 November 2008

1700 young people’s voice is heard by council

“I love Upper Hutt. I think we should make it safer and more fun to live in” says Upper Hutt youth 2008

Upper Hutt City Council has received an overwhelmingly high response rate for their youth survey, with nearly 1700 young people aged 13-18 taking part. “That’s almost half of Upper Hutt’s young people wanting to engage with Council” said Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy.

“I’m really excited that so many of our young people realise that we, at Council, do value their comments. As proven by the increasing popularity of the survey over the years, our young people can see that they are making a difference by having their voices heard.

“The survey asks the hard questions around alcohol, drugs and violence, which we face along with many other communities, but we at Council are prepared to face up to the issues and do something positive. The survey shows that there is a strong youth voice in the Upper Hutt community; a voice that Council is keen to encourage because our young people are vital to the future of our city” said Wayne.

Upper Hutt City Council used proactive approaches to get young people to complete the survey by engaging with them not only through schools, but also alternative training providers, at popular youth hang outs, on school buses and via a downloadable version online.

Council also offered an Apple iPOD as a prize incentive. Alice Blair, the survey respondent who won the Apple iPOD says “me and five friends filled out the survey and I think it’s really cool that the council uses it to make changes for young people.”  Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy personally presented the iPOD to Alice Blair and thanked her for her valuable participation in the survey.

Mayor Guppy notes that previous survey results have revealed some prominent issues for young people and this data has already been used to make positive changes in Upper Hutt. For example, Upper Hutt City Council initiated a series of youth café nights, a street-ball competition, numerous safety initiatives and an upcoming entrepreneurial ‘Future Dragons’ project.

The 2007 results concluded that nearly one quarter of all respondents identified crime and illegal drug use as the two biggest issues. As a result, this year’s survey was even more comprehensive than previous years, concentrating on the finer details around frequency and location of violence, alcohol and drug use.

With a 23% increase in surveys received compared to last year and such a large overall response rate, Upper Hutt is leading the way by being the first Council to undertake such a regular extensive survey.

The results of the Upper Hutt Youth Survey 2008 will be published and available from the website after extensive analysis in 2009. Please visit www.uhyouth.com for more details.



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