Youthtown could face demolition

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Auckland

Auckland's Youthtown is known as the home of Auckland basketball, and has fostered many players in the Tall Blacks.  But now, the establishment that was opened in 1932, could be no more.

What was once a packed community centre filled with local youth, Youthtown is now a 'ghost town'.  

Peter Joseph has a soft spot for this place.  “It’s the place I grew up playing basketball, from about 14-15 years old.  Everyone who plays basketball in Auckland and around New Zealand, they've played at Youthtown before,” he says.

Originally opened in 1932 under the name Boystown, it was always a community-driven organisation.  However, news of lead poisoning seeping into some of its facilities raised concerns with staff which could mean relocating.

Youthtown and its CEO were contacted by Te Kāea but no one was available to comment.  

Peter Joseph believes demolishing it would be a huge loss to the community.  “To knock that place down and not have it there for my son and daughter and the future generation, I'm not happy at all.”

Peter has started an online petition to save the building.  He has received about 1000 signatures since he started on Friday.