A jam-packed day of collaboration all about bringing youth together and building their connections will have an abundance of activities to engage with.
The Rotorua Youth Festival is a multi-faceted event brought together through a collaboration of sport, health and wellbeing, music, arts and culture, and educational and career pathways for youth.
It is being held this weekend at Puketawhero Park.
Organiser Veena Kameta said the Rotorua Youth Festival would have something for everyone.
On offer will be rugby league tournaments, netball drills, ki-o-rahi, safe play warm-up drills, volleyball, gutterball, biking zones, skateboard and scooter competitions as well as 3-on-3 basketball matches.
Exhibitions of wood, bone and stone carving will also be on show, as well as raranga/flax weaving tutorials.
Miss Rotorua, Youthtown, Rotorua Youth Centre and Manaaki Ora to name a few will be in attendance to kōrero with youth and their families.
Local bands and singers will take to the stage to provide entertainment accompanied by kapa haka and Cook Island dance performers.
For those interested in gaming, the Digital Natives Academy will have a gaming space set up for battles.
Kameta said, "It's jam-packed with rich collaboration. A lot of community youth groups are helping with volunteers or bringing their programmes along to the festival.
"We want to encourage and educate our young people on the choices available to them, and help to give them more options.
"This festival is about opportunity, growth, collaboration, having a go, networking and using your local connectors.
"This is for our community to come together, and this festival is something where people in our community come first.
"I've been living here in Rotorua for a very long time and I love this community, so wanted to take up the challenge to ignite and bring some passion back."
She said she was looking forward to the day and seeing happy people in a positive environment.
"We are a village. It takes a village to raise a young person, and we've got to own that.
"I hope to see us improve the way we work with our young people and reflect on how we can connect with them more.
"We encourage people to come down and bring the family along for a day out.
Founder and chief executive of Tātai Ora, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating this kaupapa, Sasho Stosic, said the festival aimed to give youth a sense of empowerment.
"It really is a one-stop-shop; we have an amazing bunch of providers who are coming to support their own kaupapa and we hope that there is something for everyone."
Stosic said the festival would not be possible without the generous support of volunteers who gave their time and aroha to the kaupapa.
"We are fortunate to also have funding from Rotorua Trust which will go towards volunteer kai, security, event co-ordination and promotion.
"Without the funding and volunteers this event would not happen - we are very thankful for the support the community and local providers have shown us already."
Rotorua Trust chairman Stewart Edward said the festival was a positive event that showcased local talent, services and providers in one place which could be attended by the whole whānau.
"The $13,300 grant was approved by our trustees as the festival can reach many people all whilst promoting vibrancy among our community."
Rotorua East Lions Club president Brian Halligan said the club, aligned with the Tatau Pounamu Collective, had worked on several projects benefiting youth in the community, and this festival was another great opportunity to connect with and aid young people.
- What: Rotorua Youth Festival
- When: April 11, 10am to 5pm
- Where: Puketawhero Park