Youth organization Zeal has secured the remainder of the $1,000,000 of funding needed to open a purpose-built, state-of the-art youth development centre in Kāpiti – continuing their mission of inspiring every young New Zealander through creativity.
“Zeal will be the only all ages venue on the coast, dedicated to giving young people a space to perform and show their talents,” says David ‘Dooley’ Orchard, Zeal Kāpiti’s General Manager. “The journey to having a youth development centre was started our young people, with the Kāpiti Coast Youth Council being a driving force and a strong voice from youth across the district to the Kāpiti Coast District Council. Zeal will continue to listen to that voice and get behind creative young people using the centre as a hub for this creativity.”
Zeal has been active in Kāpiti since October 2015 when they won the Council contract to deliver a youth development centre and related services. As part of this partnership with the Council, the Zeal team has been operating as a mobile youth centre and have activated a portable music box out of a shipping container, as well as facilitating weekly volunteer meetings, a weekly Girls’ Group, a mobile coffee cart and regular workshops and events.
The Youth Development Centre is one of the major projects in the Council’s FutureKāpiti Long term plan 2015-35, with Council contributing $400,000 towards the build. Mayor K Gurunathan is looking forward to continuing this partnership as Zeal move to the next stage of the journey.
“This is great news for the youth of Kāpiti. It enables Council and Zeal to deliver a facility for youth that the Youth Council and other members of our community have been working hard on for a number of years. Zeal is already having a great impact in this community and in the lives of our young people through their services, so we’re really looking forward to seeing this centre develop,” says Mayor K Gurunathan.
“Kāpiti has been longing for a youth space for years,” says Laci (18). “A place where they can go to do something and be somewhere instead of roaming the streets causing ‘trouble’. The most common phrase you hear from young people here is “there’s nothing to do here,” so to entertain themselves they steal, drink, or smoke. Having a youth centre like Zeal will give our young people something to do and somewhere to go.”
Zeal (Community of The Year finalist 2016) is a registered charity that has been operating in the wider North Island region for over 10 years. As well as offering afterschool drop in sessions operating four days a week, Zeal also offers creative programmes for youth, and under-18 drug and alcohol free events.
“Zeal already has made an impact on the youth in Kāpiti and we don’t even have a functional building yet,” Laci says. “The young people have already expressed that Zeal has helped them to realize what they want to be doing with their life, and that’s just with them being present.”
David Orchard (Zeal Kāpiti General Manager)
25 Parakai St,
Ph: +64 27 304 6444
Jared Ipsen (Comms Co-ordinator)
9 Ward Lane,
Ph: +64 27 903 8596