Working with community stakeholders to develop a strategy for the Roskill Youth Zone Business Plan, including a sustainable model of operation and responding to changing needs.
The purpose of this project was to update the Roskill Youth Zone Plan (RYZ) and outline the strategic direction and operational plan for the next 6 years for RYZ. The communities of Puketāpapa are changing. Significant development activity in local neighbourhoods will bring population growth and continue the rich cultural diversity in the area.
Roskill Youth Zone is an Auckland Council community venue supported by the Puketāpapa Local Board. It sits within the Connected Community department portfolio and is managed by the Community Delivery Central/ East team. It supports programmes run by several community organisations and is well-loved by youth and their families in Puketāpapa. The first RYZ Business Plan was prepared in 2012. It was time for a new plan which considered the future of RYZ and local youth - the future leaders of this community.
The development of this plan used best-practice approaches to community engagement. It took a big-picture view of anticipated neighbourhood change and development. This was to understand and identify how the future operation of RYZ could be sustainable and aligned or adaptable to the anticipated change in the area.
Development of the updated RYZ plan involved some demographic research, meeting RYZ programme leaders and community leaders in Wesley to understand the current and future challenges facing the centre. We also facilitated focused engagement sessions with students at Wesley Intermediate, Owairaka District School (primary) and spent a week at RYZ after school, meeting and talking to young people and their parents about how they use the centre and what aspirations or concerns they have about its future. Engagement activities were designed to be age-appropriate with accessible language, simple but engaging visual material and an informal, flexible approach.
Feedback from engagement was analysed and themed. Giving focus to the new RYZ Plan, three areas of opportunity were highlighted:
Leadership and Partnerships,
Spatial layout, Design and Facilities, and
Programme and Activities.
Something notable identified in this process was the opportunity to establish a collective structure that increases the role of the user groups and wider community in the leadership of RYZ. This was not something the Council had considered or done before. From this, the Council was willing to respond to this feedback and consider ways to establish a new structure for governance at RYZ.
This process informed the draft RYZ Business Plan, and recommendations to Auckland Council, to support a sustainable future for this popular community facility. This meant Council was committing to rethink the way they manage the community centre for there to be a greater role for the community and organisations who use it. The RYZ Plan provided a summary of the engagement feedback, draft vision, mission and values, and operational objectives for the centre going forward. It gave a high-level recommendation of short-, medium- and long-term actions across the three focus areas, and will be used to guide the planning for the future of the centre.
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