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Youth Affairs Minister congratulates Youthtown

6 December 2007

Youth Affairs Minister congratulates Youthtown

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says Youthtown’s achievements in the past 75 years is a tribute to those who had the vision to provide an important facility for young people.

The drop in centre, in the heart of Auckland city, is celebrating its 75th birthday with a four day ‘Alive @ 75’ festival starting today, and going through to Saturday.

“To celebrate any birthday is special, but Youthtown can be particularly proud of its achievements. It has provided facilities for young people for 75 years, and it still continues to grow,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“When you realise that Youthtown grew out of the efforts of a few during the depression years, you appreciate just how far Youthtown has come.

“Youthtown now provides young people with so much diversity in the activities it provides, as well as well as a safe environment for the young people who have walked through its doors. It has become an iconic youth centre, which is something all those who have been involved with Youthtown, have every right to be proud of,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

The Auckland-based Youthtown has its roots dating back to the 1930s, and started as a boxing gym providing youths with an alternative to getting in trouble. The centre became known as Youthtown in 1986, offering social, cultural and sporting activities for young boys and girls, and houses impressive facilities.

“It’s amazing to think that something that began as a way to provide young people with alternatives has grown so much,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“Youthtown now has an Art Zone, Learning Centre, swimming pool, basketball court and cooking area and gym. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate such a fantastic legacy. To have more than 2 million visits recorded since 1986 is an awesome achievement and I congratulate those who have made a contribution to our youth in such a phenomenal way.

“Congratulations to Youthtown – they deserve every accolade that comes their way. They’ve provided something that youth want to keep coming back to and that is a fantastic achievement.”

ENDS

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