Hurunui Youth Programme marks two year anniversary

Two years on, the Hurunui Youth Programme is continuing to grow and provide increasing recreational, cultural and education opportunities for the youth of the district.

Youth Programme Co-ordinator, Samantha Lyn, says the programme seems to have struck a real chord with young people aged 12-18.

“I remember feeling quite daunted when appointed as co-ordinator at the magnitude of the task ahead, of setting up a youth programme to cover a large rural area. We not only managed it, but the programme has exceeded all our expectations. “

 What started in September 2008 as a small event by event programme has grown to two plus events every week, which are held all over the district attracting dozens of young people.

More than two hundred have also joined HYP’s group page on Facebook.

“To see just how far the programme has come over the past two years is great, but what is even more exciting is looking forward at the potential for still more growth. There is a lot more yet to come.”

The Hurunui District Council created the youth programme co-ordinator role after receiving funding from the Ministry of Youth Development. (Sam was appointed September 9th, 2008).

In the two years since, with Samantha Lyn at the helm, a wide variety of events have been organised from socials/blue-light discos, movie nights and pool partys to a photography course and competition, and movie-making course to sports tournaments, defensive driving courses and leadership training and camps.

Youth committees have also been established in each of the three area schools and at Amberley primary school. They meet fortnightly to decide and plan events. 

“Originally they mostly wanted socials, sports and movie nights so we ran fun events that gave the programme a profile and got young people involved. But over time the focus has switched to more educational events so there is now a solid balance between fun and educational activities,” Sam says.

Samantha Lyn lists the Leadership Camp as the highlight of 2009. Held in early December at the Boyle River lodge, around twenty young people spent three days developing leadership skills, and improving their own self confidence. The camp will also run this year from the 6-8th of December. Registrations are open until the 30th of September.

There was also significant interest in the Defensive Driving Course organised by HYP in June this year, with youth travelling from Cheviot, Waiau and Culverden to attend. There are plans to run repeats every six months. The next course is planned for late November/ early December.

In the next school holidays HYP has also organised a Basic First Aid course on the 27th of September for 12-15 year olds, and a Practical First Aid Course on the 28th of September for 16-18 year olds. There is also an opportunity for young people to spend a day and a half with a professional graphic designer on the 4th and 6th of October.

For further information contact:  
Sam Lynn
Youth Programme Co-ordinator
Hurunui District Council

Young people can register for any of HYP events by contacting Sam:
P:  027 427 1087 or E: