Who are our youth community?

Youth in Hamilton (those aged up to 24 years old) represent 38% of our city’s population (Census 2018). We want our city’s young people (rangatahi) to realise their aspirations. To support this, we:

  • provide policy advice and support to the city's youth organisations
  • develop participation and leadership opportunities for young people
  • help young people identify role models in the community
  • enable youth and the organisations that support them to connect and collaborate
  • include a strong focus on youth in Council’s plans and initiatives.

Resources for youth

Whether you’re new to Hamilton or not, you’ll find some useful information for you and your families including a list of schools and community groups in Hamilton in our 2023 Your Guide to Hamilton.


Your city’s future

Planning and strategy

Our Council is part of the Waikato Wellbeing Project (WWP). This is a community-led initiative that is developing wellbeing targets for the Waikato, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes specific support and initiatives for young people to have their say (see the project’s ‘rangatahi opportunity’).

Employment is an area we’re working on with the WWP. That’s why we are keen to find ways we can connect youth with employers, youth and educational providers, youth-focused projects, employment opportunities and mentors, for example through our partnership with Smart Waikato.

Other planning and strategy initiatives that influence how we can support youth include:

  • Our Community and Social Development Strategy 2021-2026 (He Rautaki Whakawhanake Hapori) encompasses the needs of our diverse communities. One of its outcomes is high community use in our places and services because they are easy to use, safe and welcoming.
  • Our Welcoming Plan has youth-focussed support as part of its overarching goal of ensuring all Hamiltonians get the most out of their community and the opportunities Hamilton can offer. You can also contribute to updates in the Plan – see information on the Plan in welcoming communities.
  • Council’s wellbeing strategy, He Pou Manawa Ora – Pillars of Wellbeing, sets out how Council will work with others using the pillars (pou) of History, Unity, Prosperity and Restoration to build a proud and inclusive city for the wellbeing of all its people.


Council decision-making – have your say

As a significant part of Hamilton’s community, we also want to make sure rangatahi and the organisations that support them have a voice in Council decision-making.

See share your voice for more details.

To find out more about how you can have input into developing youth capacity and support in Hamilton, contact our Community Advisor (Youth).

Get involved in your community

Council supports a variety of events and provides venues and facilities where all Hamiltonians can connect and/or collaborate as individuals or groups.

Getting out and about

Our city also has some great public spaces and places everyone can enjoy - find a sportsground, park or cycleway near you.

You can also find out how Council’s information, services, funding and resources are helping Hamiltonians use our public spaces and places – and how your group can use them.

Council’s community meetings

If you’re keen to get involved with your local community, head along to one of Hamilton’s regular community network meetings (north, north east, west, south east and H-Town Youth Connect). These are for everyone who lives in Hamilton, including those who have recently moved to the city.

Community groups

Connect with Hamilton’s community’s groups and networks below. You’ll also find a list of ethnic and community groups across Hamilton in our 2022 Your Guide to Hamilton.

  • Smart Waikato - supporting rangatahi transitioning from education to employment.
  • Ministry of Youth Development– a government organisation that encourages and supports young people (12 to 24 years old) to develop and participate confidently in their communities.
  • NZ Youth Mentoring Network – a charitable organisation working alongside people providing mentoring and programmes to youth.
  • Youthline – free phone and online service supporting young people between 12 to 24 years old, including mental health and other issues.
  • Youthintact – Waikato's Youth Drug and Alcohol Service for young people.
  • Blue Light – youth programmes and activities.
  • Sport Waikato – sport and keep fit activities for everyone, including youth programmes.
  • Volunteering Waikato – matches volunteers with people and organisations.

These links could be useful if you are Maaori or Pasifika (of any age), or have a disability, or if you are caring for these people.

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Last updated 25 March 2024