Busy Wellington Youth Council wants new members
Its members submit views of the city’s younger residents on current consultations to Wellington City Council.
In 2012 alone, the Youth Council made 15 submissions to the council on issues its members felt strongly about, says deputy chair Jack Marshall, 18, of Tawa College.
“The youth council stands to provide a voice for the youth of Wellington city and to ensure that the views of young people are considered in the decisions made by the Wellington City Council,” says Jack.
“The youth council has offered me so many opportunities to help my community and to grow myself,” he says.
Councillor Simon Marsh, who has been working with the Youth Council for the past two years, says they offer a way of thinking ahead.
“These young adults provide council a very valuable resource, focusing particularly on issues that will affect them now and also into the future because these guys are the future.”
When Mr Marsh first met the youth council two years ago, he felt it lacked any real goals.
“Since then, Simon Wright [fellow youth council adviser] and I have basically acted as guides encouraging them to decide what they want to achieve,” he says.
Mr Marsh decided the youth council was an advisory group that he was interested in representing on the council.
“I chose the youth council because I value young people’s thinking that hasn’t been formatted by convention.
“Looking ahead, I would like to see them submitting in person to council with some consultations.”
Simon Wright praised the youth council members at their last meeting for their impressive tally of council submissions.
“While the number of submissions is impressive, it’s also about the youth council getting better at providing advice through practice,” he says.
“In the 18 months that I’ve been involved with the YC, they have improved their understanding of how to effectively engage with the council, including through oral submissions.”
Mr Wright says the youth council is now at the stage where its members are trying to improve the quality of their advice by improving their ability to engage with their peers.
Some later go on to working in local government.
“There are a number of current youth council members who are active in national political parties including National, Labour and the Greens,” says Mr Wrigh
Jack Marshall says the next 12 months for the YC are going to be busy, so they are recruiting members for 2013.
Coming projects include the improvement of youth resilience in times of natural disaster.
It is also looking at youth unemployment, economic development, and what steps the council could take to foster young talent in Wellington.