Plans for youth space take shape in Manurewa

May 17, 2017

Plans for youth space take shape in Manurewa

A youth space has been a long-held goal for the Manurewa Youth Council. Photo: Supplied / Manurewa Youth Council

A new space for the future generation could soon be opening up in Manurewa - if plans go ahead.

The concept is the brainchild of the Manurewa Youth Council, which identified a need for younger people in the heart of the community’s township.

Council chair Chloe Destrieux said a dedicated hub for younger people in the Southmall area would have a transformational impact on the community.

“This space gives Manurewa youth a sense of belonging and an opportunity to connect with other passionate young people in the area. This will keep our young people out of unproductive activities, particularly because this space is being shaped by them, for them,” she said.

Miss Destrieux said the youth council had been working closely with the Manurewa Local Board and Business Association but details around the funding of the space have not been released.

She cited the success of the Ōtāhuhu-Māngere youth group, which recently opened a hub in the old Ōtāhuhu library.

“Ōtāhuhu-Māngere have put an emphasis on peer mentoring and creating a safe zone. We think that this a really important thing for youth everywhere and would mean a lot for young people in Manurewa too,” she said.

The 2013 census showed Manurewa had one of the youngest populations in Auckland with a median age of 29.8 years.

Manurewa Local Board member Sarah Colcord said a youth space would allow young people from all walks of life to have a space for acceptance and belonging.

Ms Colcord, who has been working closely with the youth council, said the idea of a space had been something the council had wanted for a long time.

“This has been a discussion and a vision for several years and has now come to fruition.”

Miss Destrieux said the youth council hoped to use the space to help further its advocacy in the area, working with the local board and Auckland Council.

She said however that the youth space proposal was currently in a consultation process with the Manurewa community.

“We want the development and design of this space to be led by the community, so we are still in the early stages of consultation.”

Manurewa resident Micaela Palalagi said she thought the youth space was a good idea.

“I think it will be really good. I’d like to see it used for education and how it will empower the youth through that,” said Miss Palalagi.

The Youth Council hopes to secure a space soon.

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