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Community Board challenged on youth issues

June 21st, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

Several issues around the place of young people in the community grabbed the limelight at Motueka Community Board's packed-out June meeting yesterday.

In the public forum which starts all meetings, three young people spoke on these issues.

One, Lee Nuttall, asked if the Community Board hade any plans to provide or foster more activities for young people around the centre of town.

He said that while the skate park and Recreation Centre are excellent facilities, there is no place in town for youth to just drop in, meet friends and be engaged in community activities.

He is working on a survey of local businesses and other organisations to see who would like to help out as stakeholders.

Community Board members listened intently to his plea and several suggested ways of developing further contacts. TDC staff member Lani Evans, who works on youth engagement, expressed strong interest and talked with Lee after the meeting.

It was also recommended that further contacts be developed between interested young people and Vision Motueka, which is working on the early stages of a youth engagement and skills training project.

Thorp's Bush
Later in the meeting, representatives of the Motueka cluster of the Tasman Youth Council made an impressive presentation regarding the future of work that they had already done on making improvements to Thorp's Bush. (See our earlier story and landscaping plan.)

The $10,000 which had been left over since 2015 from the planning work for the park on the western side of Thorp's Bush is still held by TDC, but Youth Council representatives said more like $20,000 was needed to make worthwhile improvements.

Those improvements would include more seating, better playground equipment, more lighting at the entrance area, and more paths that could be used when the reserve is wet.

They said that if the extra $10,000 was not available, they would ask if the leftover money could go into another park project.

Councillor David Ogilvie said that within a few months the Motueka Reserves Management Plan, currently being reviewed, will have its first draft available, and by then a picture could emerge as to what the Motueka public would like at Thorp's Bush.

The extra $10,000 requested could be provided from the Community Board's 'special projects' fund for the 2017/18 year, which starts next month. At this point the options will become clearer.

Youth voice on Community Board
The contribution of the young people at yesterday's meeting reinforced to the Board the potential value of its intention to provide one or more non-voting positions at the Board table for local members of the Youth Council.

While final details of changes to standard orders for meetings are being sorted out by TDC, the Community Board agreed that in principle they would work with the Youth Council to offer such representation at future meetings.

Grants from Discretionary Fund
With the financial year coming to a close and a large surplus in the Community Board's Discretionary Fund, it was appropriate that seven community groups applied for grants from this fund.

Special Olympics Motueka was granted $495.00 to go towards the indoor bowls training hire venue.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman received $500.00 to assist with the recruitment, training, supervision and support of volunteer mentors for their programme in Motueka.

Live Arts Nelson, supported by the Nelson Youth Theatre Charitable Trust, successfully applied for $419.30 to help fund advertising for a show they are presenting in September at the Motueka Memorial Hall.

Motueka Events Charitable Trust was granted $500.00 to help provide the funding towards the 2017 Motueka Starlight Christmas Parade.

Motueka District Toy Library received $445.00 to replace their A3 printer, which is "on its last legs", and for ink cartridges and A3 and A4 paper.

Everyday Ltd. (also known as Ideal Cup) were granted $500 to help with their community drive to reduce disposable cup waste in Motueka and the Tasman Region and through the programme promote Motueka and the Tasman Region as a place to visit.

Crafty Tarts received $500 to help pay for the costs of cutting mats and ultra-sharp rotary cutting wheels which are used to make Boomerang Bags and quilts for several charities.

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