Did Youthquest Kapiti Need To Fold?

We contacted MPs, we had potential proposals for sustainable income for next year. We just needed to get to next year. Darcy Hata, Youthquest Kapiti mentoring manager

Well-heeled young folk do better?

By Roger Childs

Youthquest Kapiti graduation

Back in June, I was honoured to be present at the Youthquest Kapiti (YQK) prize giving. (Good to know that the Mayor was there.) It was great to see nine young men who were “at risk” before they started their tough six week course, graduating, and speaking about having their lives turned-around.

Most were from working class backgrounds and many were part-Maori.

Earlier in the year I had attended a Council meeting where representatives from the national ZEAL youth organisation were given 40 minutes to make a case for more KCDC funding. One of the group spoke of a recent achievement in building the confidence of a very shy girl.

Comparing the two groups today: YQK has had to go into liquidation, whereas ZEAL, is alive and well, and as of June 2016, has well over $360,000 in the bank.

Youthquest Kapiti: Turning Lives Around

YQK Trustee John Granville

The Youthquest programme has been highly successful for 11 years and there are still youths of 15 – 17 who can and will benefit from this programme, which provides a chance for them to turn from crime or antisocial behaviour. YQK Trustee, John Granville

The organisation is a shining light on the Kapiti Coast in showing what can be done for “at risk” youth. The young men have been referred by police, schools, families and the courts, and YQK has taken up the challenge.

Approximately 250 young men, their families and the communities from Levin to Porirua have benefitted from the 6 week programme and 12 months mentoring. John Granville

But unfortunately the organisation has struggled to get adequate funding from government sources and donations. Earlier this year, under the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) new priorities, applications for funds for the 2017/18 year have been declined.

Kapiti Council (KCDC) has been less than generous

KCDC: Needs to look at it priorties in youth spending?

How about financial support from the local body where it operates? The comparisons between backing for YQK and ZEAL are stark.

2015/2016 Financial Year

  • Youth Quest Kapiti             $1,150 ($2,300 in 2016/17)
  • ZEAL                                      $187,867

Is this a case of backing the organisation that largely benefits youth from better-off families?

YQK has been active in Kapiti for 11 years, solving social problems and saving the community money in policing, crime, graffiti, court cases and family violence. As part of their course, the young men have always helped older people with chores and carried out other community service.

An injection of $187,000 from KCDC would have got the organisation well over the line for next year.

Another case of opportunity lost?

 

 

It is indeed sad that Kapiti Youthquest has gone into voluntary liquidation. It was at the most recent Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board meeting we granted them $500 to assist towards running programmes.

The Long Term Plan workshops are coming up and any attempts by Councillors to reduce Council Grants should be resisted. All the grants should be under one staff member.

There are community contracts of nearly $400,000 which are being reviewed. There are grants from a waste levy which I believe need reviewing. There are Community Grants and there are Creative Communities Grants. If that fails the 4 Community boards have about $20,000 each to distribute usually $500 at a time. If an organisation does not get a Council grant they can and do come to the various Community Boards and get possibly a maximum of $2000. Waikanae Community Board also has an additional special fund given to them when it amalgamated with KCDC. Instead of just reforming the Community Contracts which is a good idea Council should look at reviewing all grant monies.

As Chair of the Youthquest Kapiti Trust I must report that the local community has always been very supportive of Youthquest Kapiti with funds and fundraising including some businesses, some Lions and Rotary clubs and very generous individuals. Also grants have been received from all of the various Community Trusts whose funds are applicable for this type of activity and the Lotteries Commission.
Police, Colleges and parent/guardians are also highly supportive of the programme and its successful outcomes for 11 years but the reduction over past few years of central Govt funds and the loss of funds for 17/18 year through MYD has resulted in our inability to continue. Even if a significant sum – $50,000 + could have been found now a further significant commitment for the following year beyond April 2018 would also have been necessary. These sums needed to be from Govt – central and local as they were new funds additional to existing funders. But the staff have shown amazing aroha and commitments and deserve the credit for what has been achieved.