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Transformation Taita wins LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award


HUTT CITY COUNCIL NEWS RELEASE

25 JULY 2017


Transformation Taita wins LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award

Hutt City Council’s project to transform the lives of young people in the high-deprivation suburb of Taita was recognised at the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards gala dinner last night.

Transformation Taita was named as winner of the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement – the category for a project or programme that has made a positive impact on the community and encouraged effective engagement and participation.

Transformation Taita aims to create a brighter future for local tamariki who need it most, through access to facilities, resources and activities that matter. Efforts are focussed on where they are needed most and on projects and relationships that can make a meaningful, life-changing difference.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says the project has really made a difference in peoples’ lives.

“We’re a great city, but we do have areas of high deprivation. We saw Taita as a place where we had the opportunity to make a meaningful difference. We’ve worked in with the community and other partners to provide access to community facilities that many children have never had access to in the past.

“As part of the “Magic Cards” initiative, kids in Taita can access our pools and other services for free. They can access technology through free wifi and computers at libraries, and donated computers at school. They can go on more school trips thanks to a free bus, be inspired by corporate mentors. In the Walter Nash Centre and Taita Clubhouse they have a world-class facility to play, learn, socialise or just hang out. There are so many more opportunities available to them than they’ve ever had before.

“It’s been a fantastic project for that area – it’s making a big difference. We’ve seen a major improvement in the lives of people in that area. Antisocial behaviour and graffiti has reduced significantly. They have great pride in their suburb and their community. The results speak for themselves.”

ENDS

Information about Transformation Taita

The Transformation Taita project has had great success within the community.

The new $12 million Walter Nash Centre has had over 1 million visits, most of these by local kids and their whanau, who truly feel the place is theirs. Tamariki can shoot baskets, read a book, attend an after school programme, use the free wifi and computers, or simply hang out in a safe and warm environment.

A nearby Computer Clubhouse hosts 30-40 children per day, participating in programmes which enhance their creative, hands-on and tech skills – from digital photography to music production to game design.

Collaboration between the Council, local schools and corporate partners has also seen:

• All children issued with “Magic Cards”, allowing them free entry to Council pools and free internet, book issues and printing at libraries. Many of these students had not been able to access these activities before because of the cost

• Free transport provided to schools so that they can take kids out for unique learning experiences, without having to fundraise or ask families for money. Kids have gone to Te Papa, parliament, the beach, the stadium – in many cases for the first time

• Computers donated to schools and corporate partners such as KPMG volunteer their staff time in the schools and host kids in their corporate offices. This has improved access to technology and kids are now aware of another career option they can aspire to

• Hutt City Council, in partnership with Sport New Zealand and Avalon Intermediate has introduced a new approach to the education curriculum. Traditional subjects like maths and English are being taught with a sport and movement focus. Results show big improvements in student engagement and achievement.


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