Whither Johnsonville Youth? 3 issues

A recent story in the Dominion Post asks whether Johnsonville’s young people are being adequately served by WCC? JCA says no:

“For the City Council, ignoring the needs of Johnsonville youth is easy as 1-2-3.”

Johnsonville has the highest population of young people of any suburb in Wellington, yet it’s services and infrastructure for Youth are in the process of being systematically demolished.

The City Council has plunged its collective head in the sand over the needs of local youth.

They are ignoring clear signals of need such as:

  • As a sub-regional hub with a major high school (Onslow College) just down the road, teenagers from all over the Northern Suburbs flock here daily.
  • As a ‘targeted suburban intensification’ zone (medium density housing), demand for youth facilities in Johnsonville is substantial, growing strongly, and vocal.

 

ISSUE 1: slashing the Johnsonville Youth Program

A pool table inside the Johnsonville Community's Youth Room

Inside the Johnsonville Community’s Youth Room

A modest annual grant from Wellington City Council part-funded the Johnsonville youth program community for nearly twenty years.

But around three years ago, the Council cut Johnsonville’s funding for youth, despite continuing to give substantial financial support to youth programs in other suburbs. Our community groups were out in the cold, unable to meet the full cost alone, and had no option but to stop the youth programs.

And now all Johnsonville Youth Programs at the Community Centre have ceased.

This includes Johnsonville’s only community-funded, purpose built Youth Room, which has lain dormant now for over a year.

ISSUE 2: demolishing our self-funded Youth Room

Johnsonville Youth Room

Johnsonville Community Centre Youth Room

In 1994. The Johnsonville community invested over $1 million of its own money to build the Johnsonville community Centre: We, the Johnsonville Community, paid for nearly two-thirds of the construction cost. Yet WCC’s name is on the deed for the building, so they think they can do whatever they like with it.

WCC now plans to demolish the custom-built Youth Room at the Johnsonville Community Centre, to enable vehicles to access swimming pool car-park.

WCC has no plans, nor any budget, to replace Johnsonville’s community funded, purpose built indoor Youth Room.

ISSUE 3: demolishing our outdoor youth facility

After three years of planning to do so, the City Council is set to demolish Johnsonville’s only outdoor youth facility – a basketball half court – and has neither plan nor budget for a replacement.

 

 

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