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Labour candidates commit to better school holidays in Welly

As the July school holidays finish, the Labour candidates for Wellington City Council are pledging to make school holidays in Wellington in the future more exciting for residents and visitors by introducing a coordinated programme of events and activities for children and young people.

Wharangi Onslow-Western Ward candidate Rebecca Matthews says that parents and kids know Wellington can do better during the school holidays.

“So many Wellingtonians have said that Wellington in the school holidays can be a bit dire. We will ensure that relevant Council-owned amenities focus on delivering programmes to give kids great memories of school holidays in our city,” Rebecca says.

“Our family loves spending time in our home city during the holidays and there is are some great things to keep us occupied, but there’s only so many times a young family can do the same activities.

“I’m looking forward to helping to make Wellington an excellent place for kids and families all year round, especially during the wild winter school holidays.”

Paekawakawa Southern Ward Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says that Wellington should join other councils in taking an active role to improve school holidays.

“In the winter holidays in Christchurch, the Council runs KidsFest and the whole city gets in behind it with a series of activities and events including a Lego show, glitter lip gloss classes, clock-making, crafts, and so much more,” Fleur says.

“In Hamilton, kids are free at the Aranui and Ruakuri Caves and Carterton runs a free day time school holiday programme. I know from talking to a wide range of parents in Wellington that there will be strong support for our Council following those examples.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says that this is an opportunity to work with the private sector to deliver better school holidays.

“People in the hospitality industry have already indicated a willingness to consider tailored family menus and themes in cafes and restaurants. There is so much potential for the film industry and the arts and creative sectors to develop more initiatives for young people in the school holidays, too,” Justin says.

“This is an obvious opportunity for Council to work with our local businesses and organisations to make holidays better for kids and support our local economy at the same time.

'Plus, I’m looking forward to hearing from the children and young people themselves. We’ll be canvasing students in schools across Wellington to get their ideas about what would make the school holidays even more exciting.”

The range of initiatives, which will be developed through the election campaign and beyond, include:

• Partnering with Council-controlled organisations to develop an appropriate programme of activities for families during the school holidays. This would include the Zoo, Zealandia, the Cable Car and the Museums Trust.
• A scavenger hunt on the Wellington Waterfront where kids find clues to solve a puzzle at the Wellington Museums, Capital E, Te Papa, City Gallery, the Cable car and Space Place.
• The swimming pools providing a new set of initiatives including age-appropriate inflatable fun, diving lessons, water-polo lessons and themed pool parties for holiday programmes.
• The extension of Beyond the Page - the successful Wellington City Libraries school holiday initiative to include each set of school holidays and more book challenges, reading programme and themed events around much-loved books.
• Kids themed exhibitions at Museums, Art Galleries, and in the Convention Centre exhibition space.
• Free sports taster sessions at recreation centres on indoor sports including newly developing sports sessions like handball, floorball and futsal.
• Competitions for the best school holiday snaps enjoying the wild Wellington outdoors.

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