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The ideas listed here emerged from an informal community meeting organised by Grace Hoete to discuss positive ways of creating a safer community in Ōtaki.

Grace called for people to put their resources, time, input and action into this kaupapa, “because Ōtaki and our future generations deserve it”. 

The rangatahi – the youthful voice – at the meeting spoke about:

  • needing things to do

  • transportation to Porirua or Palmy. Why we asked? Because they have things to do there Ōtaki doesn’t

  • Somewhere to chill out with stuff that we like; couches, food, boxing bags, gaming laptops, PCs, Logitech, TV, pool table, ping pong table, a space for day and night

  • A safe space to hang out after 7pm till midnight for us older ones

  • 24-hour arcade

  • Zeal

  • Paintballing day or night in the Pine Forest

  • Go karts, drift track & dirt bikes & tracks.

The community ideas that came to light at the meeting, recorded verbatim include:

  • Rangatahi leading rangatahi

  • The development of a Rangatahi Council deciding what they need

  • Identifying what youth want through opportunity

  • Driving Skills Training

  • Leadership training – identifying potential /role models

  • Vocation days

  • Mechanics

  • Singing

  • IT skills training

  • Career building/gardening/connecting with the college

  • A place to go at night

  • Physical activities

    • Top Town

    • Amazing Race

    • Trolley races

    • Raft races

    • Weight-lifting training

    • Body building

    • Body & Soul Gym

    • Boxing club

    • Hip-hop dancing

  • Bring Zeal into town (music training and recording, DJing)

  • More KYS (Kāpiti Youth Service) services (only Tuesdays at the moment)

  • Improve services, amenities and availability of services

  • Level Up services so Ōtaki gets the same as Levin, Waikanae, Paraparaumu etc

  • What’s on offer for youth and families, parks/facilities?

  • Combine all rangatahi services (social, medical, counselling)

  • Not having to go out of town to Levin or Paraparaumu for services

  • Improve affordability for things – subsidies

  • Normalising communication, voice opinions with respect and value

  • Establish and encourage relationships within community

  • Positive role models

  • Regular events/meet ups

  • Koha kai

  • Parental responsibility for families

  • Parental communication with their kids

  • Youth, respect, adults to be role models – Listen!

  • Open communication so youth can talk to adults and expect a civil answer

  • Violence-free Ōtaki

  • Safe space

  • Budgeting – money management

  • More art

  • Venue

  • Youth centre close to town

  • Drug and alcohol counselling and education

  • Creative cooking

  • Meditation

  • Skating rink

  • Māori wardens

  • Rangatahi being leaders

  • Go-cart days

  • Ōtaki Community Patrol

  • Self healing/self respect

  • Communication skills

  • Parents/aunty/uncle participation

  • Life skills

  • Opportunities to learn how to do basic mechanics, building-construction training, panel beaters and trades

  • Defensive driving courses.



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