Kāpiti Zeal hits funding jackpot

Zeal has secured almost $1,000,000 of funding to open their newest facility 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 by young people here, with the Kāpiti Coast Youth Council being a driving force and a strong voice from youth across the district to 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, operating as a mobile youth centre. Dooley and the Zeal team have been activating 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.

“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 are “there’s nothing to do here,” so to entertain themselves they steal, drink, or smoke. Having a youth center like Zeal will give our young people something to do and somewhere to go.

“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 realise what they want to be doing with their life, and that’s just with them being present.”

The new youth centre will be used for hosting all ages events, afterschool hangouts, and creative programmes.

“Zeal is already having a great impact in this community and in the lives of our young people through their services,” says Mayor Gurunathan. “We’re really looking forward to seeing this centre develop.”