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Youth-led ‘tree adoption’ in Tuakau rounds off district-wide programme

Onewhero Youth Action Group

Youth in Tuakau ran a ‘tree adoption’ on Sunday [16 July]that rounded off a series of youth-initiated events supported by Waikato District Council under its ‘Govern Up’ programme . 

With a $10,000 grant secured from the Ministry of Social Development, the ‘Govern Up’ programme has challenged young people around the district to grow their leadership and governance skills by organising community-based events or projects. 

Youth Action Groups established in the district have been asked to nominate a representative to attend their local Community Committee or Board, and each group has been given a share of the grant to assist them.

The Tuakau Youth Action Group decided to use their share of the grant to purchase 50 fruit trees for planting in the Tuakau community, and they sought names of local people willing to have a fruit tree planted in their garden.

Sustainability was the message shared by youth with this ‘tree adoption’, with the fruit produced by these trees intended to feed the community for many years to come. 

Community members who had given their names to the Tuakau Youth Action Group were visited by three teams of young people to plant a fruit tree in their garden on the day.

Eight youth action groups in the district took up the ‘Govern Up’ challenge - in Onewhero, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Tuakau, Te Kauwhata, Raglan, Taupiri and Tamahere - and young people in Meremere have now also been inspired to ask for Council support to establish their own local youth action group.

Through the ‘Govern Up’ programme about 100 young people have gained leadership experience in organising events involving nearly 600 other youth in the district including a fruit tree giveaway in Onewhero, a Health Expo in Ngaruawahia, a community planting in Taupiri, a Wacky Hair Disco in Te Kauwhata, and a ‘Creative-Con’ in Huntly. 

Having tasted success, several of the youth groups are already moving on to their next projects, such as helping organise an opening event for a new skate park in Te Kauwhata, and opening discussions about the possibility of creating a BMX track in Onewhero.

General Manager of Strategy & Support Tony Whittaker says: “It’s exciting to see that these young people are already considering working on new projects for their communities, and we look forward to continuing to support their development.”

Photo caption: Onewhero Youth Action Group gained leadership experience through its fruit tree giveaway project, part of Waikato District Council’s ‘Govern Up’ programme.

For more information please contact:
Crystal Beavis
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633