21 Jul 2011

Kaikohe youth programme loses funding

6:34 am on 21 July 2011

A youth programme that's brought down the crime rate in Kaikohe has lost its funding with the advent of Whānau Ora.

Te Hau Ora ō Kaikohe has been funding Friday night activities for young people, led by New Zealand's unicycle champ Chris Huriwai.

A spokesman, Fred Sadler, says about 50 teenagers turn up each week, and over 16 months vandalism and petty crime in Kaikohe has dropped dramatically.

Te Hau Ora was running the youth programme and its nutrition projects with a grant of $100,000 from the previous government's Healthy Eating, Healthy Action fund.

Mr Sadler says that's now been scrapped and the money used instead for Whānau Ora.

Under the new system, he says, five organisations in the mid-north, including Hokianga Health, must now share a total funding pool of less than $300,000.

He says Te Hau Ora ō Kaikohe is trying to keep the youth programme going on a voluntary basis and is casting around for other funding sources.