Youth Quest Kapiti: Turning Lives Around

Ministry won’t fund the programme any more

By John Granville

Youthquest graduates and staff at the recent course graduation

After 11 years of programmes for youth at risk, school mentoring and youth and family follow-ups, Youthquest  no longer meets the new criteria for Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) priorities, and applications for funds for the 2017/18 year have been declined.

 Up till now, approximately 250 young men, their families and the communities from Levin to Porirua have benefitted from the 6 week programme and 12 months mentoring.

The programme provides a valuable opportunity for youths referred by colleges, parents, police and the courts. In his previous role in the Youth Court, Judge Andrew Beacroft, supported the programme, as do many local courts and police.

Meeting the budget

The budget of approximately $315,000 is primarily wages for the outstanding programme managers and mentors and travel and programme operational costs – a significant proportion which has been from community grants, fundraising and donations from locals.

Although replacement of the 2 vehicles is becoming a priority all funding this year will apply to maintaining the valuable 3 courses and the subsequent mentoring.

Pitiful support from KCDC compared with the tens of thousands of dollars given to ZEAL

However, in the past 2 years Youthquest Kapiti has also received Central Government and Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) support as follows:

2015/16                  2016/17

​MYD ​            $57,000                   $51,750

WINZ             Nil                          $2 300

COGS            $2 300                     Nil

KCDC            $1 150                     $2 300

Support from the Kapiti community

Many local firms and organisations have been supportive of Youthquest – as typified by

  • the annual Run for Youth event which supports it, a pub Quiz recently which raised $3000
  • $1000 donation from the Kapiti Joggers Marines run and walk
  • a host of community-minded people who provide regular donations, free goods and services, subsidised office rent and supportive publicity.
The In the Footsteps of the Marines event raised $1000 for Youthquest

You may notice Youthquest course members and graduates joining community programmes – Foodbank collection and tree planting etc … which is part of their course.

The Youthquest programme has been highly successful for 11 years and there are still youths of 15 – 17 who can and will benefit from the courses, which provides a chance for them to turn from crime or anti-social behaviour. 

The Trust Board and Administration Manager are intending to apply for a grant from the Ministry of Social Development as part of their priority funding is for programmes that benefit youth at risk and families in the community.