South Wairarapa residents without access to a computer were offered assistance filling in their census forms from a team of 15 Kuranui College student volunteers. An open invitation was made to the local community inviting people to go along to Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough libraries.
The idea is the brainchild of South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier, who heard about a new Greytown Community Board voluntary initiative where young people from Kuranui would assist the elderly with issues they were experiencing using devices such as their cell phones and computers.
“I was talking to Kuranui Acting Principal Maree Patten and Greytown Community Board Deputy Chair Ann Rainford about Kuranui kids helping Seniors with computers, when I thought it might be possible to help with the census as I’ve had some calls asking how to get help,” she explains.
“Within 24 hours we’d each done our bit to make it happen in all three South Wairarapa libraries. Hopefully people will make use of the opportunity. I think it’s great to see that youth can help people who don’t have the necessary computer skills to fill in the census forms. It is essential we get as many people to fill in their forms as possible, because we need to know the most up to date information regarding our population, especially in regards to planning for the future and provision of health and education services.”
Maree Patten says the wider scheme is due to begin later this term. “Greytown Community Board applied for and received $800 from the Greytown Trust Lands Trust for this initiative, and we have a team of five young people ready to do this. We are looking at this happening on a Wednesday at lunchtime in our library, beginning shortly. When Viv heard that Ann and I were working on this, she approached us and asked if we could help with the census. There have been plenty of volunteers who are looking forward to helping with this important piece of research.”