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Young people keen to get into local government

Feb 7th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Young people have suddenly become interested in joining Wellington City Council’s youth council.

So far more than 40 applications have been received, compared with 15 last year, and there is still time to apply before the closing date of February 11.

Simon Wright, the council’s consultation and engagement advisor, says young people in the capital have always shown an interest in politics, but admits the council is improving its recruitment process.

“We’re really pleased with the amount of applicants.  Last year we had about 15.”

“There’s been a lot of work in the last year and the Youth Council has had some good media coverage.”

The Youth Council’s 2012 annual report, which was presented to the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting last week, mentions the youth receiving help building a greater media profile from Richard MacLean, of the council communications team.

The council achieved prominent coverage in the Dominion Post and on radio for its proposal for an adult playground in Wellington, and national coverage on radio networks and on Prime News regarding its position on national alcohol policy.

The youth council also targeted Year 10, 11 and 12 students by writing to schools in the past year.

Membership is open to young people aged 12 to 24 years living within Wellington City Council boundaries.

The council consists of a maximum of 20 members, with a balance of members based on gender, geographical area, educational level and cultural backgrounds.

It meets regularly to promote and encourage youth involvement in planning and developing council services and make surethat young people are canvassed and their views passed on to the council.

The annual report says the Youth Council hopes for further improvement in its engagement with Wellington youth this year.

It plans to begin by interviewing university students to develop advice on how to help young people prepare for first-time flatting and by developing relationships with organisations working with ‘hard-to-reach’ youth.

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