From Penk’s Pen – Happy New Year

It was an honour to spend time with the community at St John Youth in December as a  leading youth volunteer programme for young people aged 5 to 18 years. Their programmes focus on teaching first aid, health care, leadership to young people as  well as developing youths in the community towards success and enhancing their health and wellbeing. I personally admire this community who give up their time and seek  to make a difference for the next generation.
As the local MP, it was a privilege to be invited to speak at their programme recently. I was  asked plenty of questions around how laws are made and what a day in the life of an MP looks like. I also had the opportunity to talk about how to build communities (using Lego!) with the team at Kaukapakapa.
It is welcoming to witness these youth volunteers making themselves visible and out and  about within the community, including at the Kumeu Show recently. It’s clear to see there is a positive contrast of young people engaged in the community who genuinely seek  to help others, including acting as a coach and mentor for youths who may be caught up as  ram-raiding troublemakers that are clearly at a loose end.
The programmes at St Johns Youth truly equip their volunteers to understand young  people well and be able to act as a youth support for those from a variety of challenging
and difficult backgrounds. If you are a young person or a parent who would like to know  more about getting involved in this programme, then you can find out more at
To all the St John youth programme volunteers, I thank you for what you do for our young  people each day. The value you add cannot be understated and I know our community  would not be the same without you.
I hope everyone had a safe and festive holiday season and relaxing break with friends and  family. I look forward to continuing to represent the people of Helensville in 2023.

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