Youth ad­vis­ers pick their pri­or­ity is­sues

The Youth Ad­vi­sory Panel, which gives young peo­ple a voice in lo­cal gov­ern­ment, has started its sec­ond term. Ka­rina Abadia went to meet cen­tral area panel mem­bers.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Pro­mot­ing sus­tain­abil­ity, trans­port solutions and pos­i­tive so­cial behaviour are just a few of the im­por­tant is­sues for un­der 25-year-olds, Youth Ad­vi­sory Panel mem­bers say.

The panel’s role is to pro­vide ad­vice to the Auck­land Coun­cil on is­sues which af­fect youth and was es­tab­lished by the Mayor in 2011. It’s made up of 21 peo­ple between the ages of 12 and 24 who have been se­lected by their peers. It started its sec­ond term on July 28.

Ex­ist­ing panel mem­ber Gi­nah Vaka­heke­taha-Nelisi, 20, rep­re­sents the Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki area.

The Royal Oak res­i­dent got in­volved be­cause she’s pas­sion­ate about help­ing to em­power young peo­ple.

‘‘I wanted to not only stand up for them but also stand up for my­self and what I be­lieved in.’’

She’s been work­ing closely with Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Lo­cal Board Youth Panel and chair­man Jake Lamkum.

In the last term they helped or­gan­ise sev­eral events to en­gage young peo­ple, in­clud­ing an event called 360MT with spo­ken word work­shops and an an­nual plant­ing event called Ko au Te Awa (I am the river).

It takes Innes over place in Glen Matariki and teaches par­tic­i­pants about sus­tain­abil­ity.

Tes­ree Ap­panna, 23, rep­re­sents Orakei and joined the panel this term.

‘‘I be­lieve be­ing part of the Youth Ad­vi­sory Panel is a chance to en­sure that future de­ci­sion-mak­ing in­cludes youth and that their in­put isn’t over­looked.’’

The Orakei Youth Board has iden­ti­fied men­tal health, the en­vi­ron­ment, trans­port and em­ploy­ment as im­por­tant is­sues for young peo­ple.

Is­abella Leni­han-Ikin, 17, rep­re­sents youth from Waitem­ata. The Grey Lynn res­i­dent is a Western Springs Col­lege year 13 stu­dent and says trans­port is the is­sue that ex­cites her most.

‘‘The City Rail Link is some­thing I’d love to see hap­pen. I think we also re­ally need more pro­tected, des­ig­nated cy­cle­ways.

‘‘Ma­jor is­sues fac­ing the city are un­em­ploy­ment and trans­port. Young peo­ple need to play a key role in de­cid­ing what is done to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.’’

Young lead­ers: Auck­land Coun­cil Youth Ad­vi­sory Panel mem­bers Is­abella Leni­han-Ikin and Gi­nah Vaka­heke­taha-Nelisi with Jake Lamkum, who is chair­man of the Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Lo­cal Board Youth Panel.

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