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Kaikohe community celebrates exciting new youth space

Kaikohe community celebrates exciting new youth space

Spirits are high in Kaikohe with the opening of a new youth centre, Te Uma o Kona on 14th August 2017.

The name Te Uma o Kona was chosen by the youth, in acknowledgement of Te Kona, mother of the Ngāpuhi leader Hone Heke and her maternal nature to provide safety, counsel and comfort. It is envisaged these same characteristics will permeate through the new youth centre.

Kaikohe youth representative, 16 year old Wikitoria Watene-Kowhai is also excited about the new youth centre “knowing that we’ve got a space to go and that we’ll be looked after”.

The centre will support youth aged 12-24 yrs and will be run by Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust, a Kaikohe community organisation with priorities of improving youth health, education and employment readiness.

This community and youth-lead initiative will transform a currently unused retail space into a bright, creative, multi-functional facility that will deliver a variety of events, programmes and support services for youth.

Trust chairperson Aroha Tahere says “youth in Kaikohe told us they want this space to be fun, cool, friendly and safe. That’s why they’re actively involved in designing what the space will look like, the activities, resources and support available and even the list of personal qualities they want for kaimahi (youth centre staff)”.

Kaikohe Community and Youth Centre Trust

The centre is an innovative collaboration between the local community, iwi and regional organisations to encourage youth and community–driven solutions to support, encourage, inspire the young people of Kaikohe. These organisations include the Kaikohe Community and Youth Centre Trust, Te Rūnanga ā Iwi o Ngāpuhi, the Northland Social Wellbeing Governance Group’s Place Based Initiatives (Kāinga Ora), and the government’s Regional Growth Programme.

The opening ceremony centre for the centre is on Monday 14 August at 10.30am at 135 Broadway, Kaikohe, and an open invitation is extended to all.

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