New spin on after-school fun

By Zaryd Wilson

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Andy Watson
Andy Watson

The Rangitikei District Council will likely cease its after-school and holiday programmes in the district by October and instead set up two Youth One Stop Shops employing two youth development workers.

The council is currently the sole funder of holiday and after-school programmes in Marton and Taihape, but its policy and planning committee has backed phasing them out in favour of a new model with external financial contributions.

A "transitional programme" to run between July and September will confirm the future of the Marton Youth Club and the Taihape Youth Hutt, create a budget from external funding and set up a governance group and a Youth One Stop Shop in Marton and Taihape.

The council will vote on whether or not to go ahead with the transition on June 30.

Its Annual Plan sets aside $60,000 to youth development in the region while the council will be seeking at least $70,000 from another source.

Rangitikei Mayor Andy Watson said the council was committed to keeping youth services in the district. Despite struggles in securing government funding, Mr Watson said he was still in discussions with officials and remained hopeful.

The council had been lobbying the Ministry of Social Development for a contribution to youth services but conceded it would be unlikely in the short term. An application has been made to the Department of Internal Affairs' Community Development Scheme to fund two youth development workers in the region.

After-school and holiday activities could then happen in the form of homework clubs, evening sports and arts activities, and health clinics, and be run by volunteers including parents and young people along with agencies.

The youth shops could also cater for a wide age range.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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