Youth a key focus in Community Empowerment unit

Last Updated : 21 Oct 2015
Youth a key focus

Auckland’s children and young people will be supported by a team of community development planners and practitioners in council’s new Community Empowerment unit, which launched on 1 October.

The new unit replaces the previous Community Development and Safety unit within the council’s Community Development, Arts and Culture (CDAC) department. It marks the beginning of new and innovative ways of working with Auckland’s many and diverse communities.

CDAC General Manager Graham Bodman says the new Community Empowerment unit will ensure social inclusion and equity – including for youth.

"The CDAC department holds strategic relationships with many youth sector groups and organisations. These commitments will absolutely continue in the new Community Empowerment model."

The new unit will have a dedicated Youth Connections team that will include seven specialists with a particular focus on work programmes to support Auckland’s children and young people. There will also be seven community action advisors, youth and drugs advisors, and a youth safety advisor.

“Through the Youth Connections team we will continue the council’s commitment to our younger generations. Underpinning our work in this area will be the excellent insights, objectives and guiding principles of the Auckland Plan, the Youth Connections Programme, the mayoral Youth Employment Traction Plan and ‘I Am Auckland’; the Children and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan, as well as our strategic relationships with many youth sector groups and organisations.”

A voice for young people

Staff will also provide critical support for local youth boards and the council’s Youth Advisory Panel. The panel has been designing and developing a future Empowered Communities Approach model for youth civic participation, to ensure young people continue to have an effective voice across local government.

The Auckland Plan states that children and young people are Auckland’s future and must be given the opportunity to reach their potential so that they do not experience disadvantage as adults. It also says that focusing on creating a city that is a great place for children, young people, their family and whanau to live, will contribute substantially to making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.

People under 25 years of age make up almost 40 per cent of Auckland’s population, and about one third of all New Zealand children under 15 years currently live in the Auckland region.

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