b'In Opotiki more than 15 murals have been created and painted, bringing alive a new sense of community pride and artistic awareness. Some local businesses, which were previously concerned about youth crime rates, are now proud of the work of the young local artists and, Shona says, crime rates have dropped and youth self-esteem has risen significantly. Art houses stabilise wobbly, at-risk children very well, because the at-risk young people areoftenamongthemostsensitiveand creative.In Paeroa, the positive results from the local childrensarthousehasencouragedtheAboveArt Houses founder Shona Hauraki District Council to develop its ownHammond Boys: I believe its a crime youth policy and to nurture young people inAsShonaaptlysays:Tobelongtoaagainst humanity if we dont invest in art and leadership programmes. childrens creativity.community you have to come to the wall Another initiative is involvement with a youngand write your name. With her passion andOppositeOne of the Opotiki murals, Americanartstudentfromtheprestigiouswisdom shes changing young peoples livespainted by the towns young people with paint from Resene. Rhode Island School of Art and Design. Maxfor the better and ensuring that art isnt a Levi Frieder cycled around the 22 Childrensluxury but a human necessity.ReseneBarely ThereArt Houses here, working with young artistsReseneto create new murals. wordsKathy Sumner Nirvanawords Kathy SumnerRate your homeshealth this month towin!We all want to live in warm, comfortable homes that are cost efficient without compromising our lifestyle. However, many of us dont know what we need to do to get our house into shape, or how it stacks up when compared to other New Zealand homes.Homestar can help, by giving you advice on what needs to be done to improve your home. To get started, go to www.homestar.org.nz and rate your home using the free test. Complete the test today, and you could win a Healthy Home Makeover to help you get started on your Homestar journey.Live Better with Homestar, now and for the future.Find out how you can improve your home atwww.homestar.org.nz or at www.facebook.com/HomestarNZ.'