Research was undertaken in the latter part of 2020 focused on the strengths and opportunities of young people in the Hurunui district, and how these can be assisted to grow. The research sought to answer the following questions:
1. What are the current and likely future wellbeing needs of children, young people and whānau in Hurunui?
2. What model of service delivery and support provision is best-placed to address these wellbeing needs locally?
3. If a wellbeing hub is found to meet with support, what is the best approach to develop a wellbeing hub at Cheviot School in a sustainable manner?
The methodology involved quantitative data analysis for the purpose of community profiling, review of relevant recent local research, interviews and focus groups with local and external stakeholders and consultation with young people, predominantly via focus group.
This study identified significant gaps and challenges in service provision in the Hurunui, linked to funding, funding models, geography and awareness. Cheviot Area School, like the other rural Area Schools in the Hurunui, were found to be looked to as unofficial social service providers, although Cheviot Area School appeared to be the most adversely affected by these challenges, attracting the least resources and services. Notably, this study also found a range of people within the communities connecting in informal and formal roles who are doing what they can to provide support and resources, along with a few services who are committed to delivering local support. Additionally, the Hurunui District Council has put youth firmly on their agenda and a number of young people are committed to illuminate and co-create with schools, service providers and community to improve wellbeing outcomes. The youth of the Hurunui, along with the communities and service providers that support them, are well placed to co-design wellbeing approaches that make the most of existing services, resources and events by folding in more wellbeing opportunities in flexible ways that reflect their character. A number of recommendations were made.