The 198 Youth Heath Centre in Christchurch will close its doors at the end of this month unless additional funding can be found to cover rising costs.

As I wrote in another post, over 15,000 young people use its free services every year. These services include medical checks ups, health advice, pregnancy tests and counselling.

It is also a place safe place where young people can meet and talk.

Health minister Tony Ryall, displaying remarkable shortsightedness, has refused to step in to save the centre.

The Christchurch City Council has also declined to help - the same council that bailed out failed property developer Dave Henderson to the tune of $17 million and the same council that has spent over $1.7 million on reports on how to 'revitalise' the central city.

As I wrote previously:

This is a time of deep recession and youth unemployment has rocketed up over the past year or so. Yet, despite this, the young people of Christchurch are facing the ugly prospect of having another support organisation kicked out from under them.

This is a short interview with one of the high school students campaigning to keep the centre open.

The interview was conducted by Asher from the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement.


  1. Asher, not Ashley, FYI.

    Also, for anyone interested, there's a Save 198 group on Facebook at and the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement's website is

    Cheers for posting this.

  2. Sideshow Bob's column in the Star was a hoot yesterday. He (or his ghostwriter) opined that a city should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens (conveniently forgetting his own actions to hike rents for Council tenants). He then went on to laud the Council's decision to contribute $2 million to the City Mission's new building, saying he couldn't see how anyone could possibly oppose it.
    Interesting how he suddenly rediscovers a social conscience for causes supported by his cronies (Bazza "Hang 'em High" Corbett used to be the Mission's communications manager), but the cupboard is bare for his own tenants or for worthy organisations like 198 or surf lifesaving.


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