Rangitikei will install a youth council early next year.
The proposal was put to councillors by strategic adviser Nardia Gower in the middle of November and they voted on Thursday to provide funding for the programme.
“I’m feeling pretty stoked, pretty excited,” Gower said after the vote.
“We proposed to Rangitikei District Council that we establish a youth council … for ages 13 to 24 who can have their say on council decisions, engage with their community and have a whole bunch of fun.”
The cost of the youth council will be $11,605 and Gower said she wanted the council to contribute $10,000.
The funding will go towards organising meetings, training, and a three-day youth conference called Festival for the Future.
Gower was delighted with the positive reactions councillors had to her proposal.
“All the councillors are really eager to see the youth get involved, not only in civic engagement but also in the community as a whole with projects, with policy.
“There was lots of positive, really heartwarming actually that came out of it. They’re really looking forward to the outcomes that we can produce.”
Mayor Andy Watson was delighted the council had shown “leadership” in choosing to go forward with the youth council idea.
“Nardia’s a fantastic person. She’s come to us and said one of the things she wants to see in place is a youth council. It would have a councillor associated with it – the councillor wouldn’t have voting rights. They would be put in place to provide recommendations to council.
“I think we’ve got the right person to make this progress.”
Applications to join the youth council will be available at the start of December.
They close on February 1, 2019 and interviews with shortlisted candidates would take place later that month.
The council’s strategy and community planning team will shortlist applicants for interviewing. The interview panel will consist of the Youth Council chair, deputy chair and a strategy and community planning team member and/or an elected member/councillor and/or a representative nominated by Te Roopu Ahi Kaa.
The youth councillors chosen would then have a training weekend and an inaugural meeting in the middle of March, 2019.
• Any person between 13 and 24 who is interested can find out more at www.tryb.co.nz, the Youth Council’s Facebook page TRYBnz or the Instagram account tryb_nz.
Source: NZ Herald