Wellington City Council is developing a new Youth Hub in the central city, and will host a hui for the city’s younger residents to voice their views on what the space should look like.
Council says the aim of the Youth Hub will be to create a safe indoor space dedicated to young people.
The Youth Hub is another initiative of the Pōneke Promise, a partnership already involving the City Council, hospitality and retail business, Police, City Mission and Regional Council, working together to make the central city look, feel and be safer, more inclusive and welcoming.
Mayor Andy Foster says the Youth Hub will create another place of positive, inclusive activity in downtown Wellington, following Te Wāhi Āwhina, the Community Support Centre which opened in the Opera House building in May, and the new Community Centre space currently being fitted out at 107 Manners Street.
“This week, Councillors Foon, Day and I had the pleasure of visiting Commonspace, a temporary pop-up living space for the young and young at heart to come together to share the skills and interests they love, and enjoy good company and creativity,” the Mayor said.
“We heard about the desire for a living space which sometimes is just not available in constrained flatting environments.
“It’s also clear that the Central Library is much missed as a place to be, and how much we are all looking forward to seeing it re-emerging as the City’s main indoor living room.
“This hui is an exciting opportunity for our young people to imagine and create this new space together, so it best meets their needs and aspirations for a safe, welcoming and inclusive space.”
Councillor Tamatha Paul is excited about the hui and sees it as an opportunity to give rangatahi real ownership of their space and place in the city.
“We’re keen to make sure young people’s voices are heard when it comes to the design and creation of the youth hub. By hosting an interactive, engaging hui in a relaxed and welcoming environment, we’re hoping to capture and explore our rangatahi’s hopes, needs and aspirations for the site,” she said.
“Young people experience our city differently, and this is our chance to understand that – the good, the bad, and the mediocre. These are the kind of things we need to know if we’re to create a space where they feel safe and welcome in their city.”
Councillor Jill Day, who will be helping facilitate the hui along with Councillor Paul, said the hui was an opportunity to create an inclusive space for all rangatahi.
“We’re running focus groups leading up to the hui with our Pasifika, Māori, Rainbow and Accessiblity advisory groups, as well as with people from a refugee and migrant background, to ascertain the different needs, issues to address, and concerns and requirements for the space.”
“Inclusivity is the beating heart of our city, and we want that to be reflected through the Youth Hub project. Ultimately, we want to create a space where everybody can feel a sense belonging, of whanaungatanga.
“One of the questions we’re asking is, what should it be called? Names are important because they tell us a story and connect us to our places. We want a name that reflects what the space means to our diverse community of rangatahi. I can’t wait to see what they come up with,” she said.
The engagement period will end Friday 22 October, and work will start over the summer months with the Youth Hub expected to open in March 2022.
The Youth Hub Hui is being held at 49 Courtenay Place on Friday 15 October. For those who can’t make it along to the hui, they can have their say by completing the survey on our website. Feedback closes 5pm Friday 22 October.
Āhea | When: Friday 15 October – we’ll be running sessions on the hour from 10am-3pm
Ki hea | Where: Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place
Please note: Express your interest on the Facebook event page – or just turn up on the day. Due to Alert Level 2 restrictions, Council can only have up to 100 people in the space per session.