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Porirua City’s children and young people remain a priority for Council


Results from Porirua City Council’s latest Children and Young People Annual Report and Status Report show that putting children and young people at the heart of our city needs to remain a priority.

Porirua has the country’s highest proportion of youth – people aged between 0 to 24 – of any council in New Zealand, with 36 per cent of the city’s 62,600 population falling in that age bracket.

Council made a commitment in its 2021-51 Long-term Plan to ensure that its plans, decisions, and initiatives all help the city’s tamariki and rangatahi to reach their potential either directly or indirectly through their whānau.

One way this is demonstrated is through the facilities, services and events organised for the city, amplifying young people’s voices, celebrating success and partnering with businesses, communities and government to achieve positive outcomes.

Impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic are still being seen in the city, with rates of engagement in school for young people decreasing, and tamariki and rangatahi reporting higher mental health needs, stress and overall decline in their quality of life.

In 2022, 72 per cent of 18-24 year-olds rated their quality of life as good or better, down from 88 per cent in 2020, and significantly lower than the result of 84 per cent for all age groups. Stress was also a concerning statistic, with 45 per cent of rangatahi reporting feeling stressed often, compared with 25 per cent for all age groups.

The rate of obesity among children starting school in Porirua did fall compared with the previous year, but is still higher than the national average, and significant ethnic disparities remain entrenched.

The housing crisis is impacting on our tamariki and rangatahi with the long social housing waitlist in Porirua creating a dependence on emergency housing.

“While some of the figures in the reports are confronting, it presents us with an opportunity to continue to explore how best we position ourselves to advocate for better outcomes for young people in our city,” says Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.

“We have already seen some great outcomes from the range of programmes either offered by or supported by Council, and we want to continue that momentum.”

She says an important part of Council’s role is alongside government departments that work in Porirua City, advocating for improvements to outcomes for the tamariki and rangatahi who live here.

A Workforce Development Strategy developed by Council aims to ensure Porirua’s communities and rangatahi benefit from the city’s projected growth and regeneration, and that workers have the skills, experience, and opportunities to secure quality jobs.

Mayor Baker says the reports are timely as Council is now in the process of updating its Strategic Framework for young people to ensure it remains relevant and informs the work done with tamariki and rangatahi in this city.

“It is important that we take the time to reassess the needs of our tamariki and rangatahi and recognise that their needs may have significantly changed over the past four years.”

Key statistics from the reports (covering the year to June 2022):

  • 14 school groups took part in planting days with Porirua City Council and Sustainable Coastlines, planting more than 5,000 native species in total
  • 6,000 tamariki engaged in Council-run children’s swim programmes with 22 local primary schools participating in the Water Skills for Life programme delivered out of Cannons Creek Pool
  • 24,000 tamariki and rangatahi participated in activities such as sport tournaments, Kindy Gym and school sports at Te Rauparaha Arena
  • Through our free monthly child restraint checks, we’ve seen correctly installed car seats go from 20 per cent to 80 per cent compliance over the past two years. We check about 300 seats a year through this service.

Both the reports can be found here.

2 Mar 2023