No-show youth sacked

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil has re­moved five youth coun­cil­lors from the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

A let­ter which was signed by mayor Neil Sin­clair was sent in­form­ing youth coun­cil­lors of a meet­ing (Au­gust 15) out­lin­ing that if they did not at­tend, the coun­cil would as­sume they no longer wanted to be a mem­ber of the Youth Coun­cil.

Sub­se­quently five youth coun­cil­lors did not at­tend the meet­ing and were no­ti­fied they will be re­placed.

Dur­ing a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing Mr Sin­clair said: ‘‘Staff came and said they were con­cerned. I don’t know whether it was a lack of di­rec­tion, lack of in­spi­ra­tion, or not know­ing what they were there for.’’

Coun­cil­lor Bar­rie Her­lihy said ‘‘my feel­ing was that some didn’t ful­fil their obli­ga­tions, didn’t put an apol­ogy in, etc. And I would say that would re­ally be the an­swer, just young peo­ple not re­al­is­ing their obli­ga­tion. I think most of them feel quite pos­i­tive about the Youth Coun­cil.’’

But coun­cil­lor Jenny Shat­tock sug­gested that dis­cus­sions be held in fu­ture around the con­cept’s con­tin­u­a­tion.

‘‘It’s some­thing that needs to be looked at, [at] bud­get time and have a good dis­cus­sion on if we continue with it.

‘‘ When it first started it went ex­tremely well for the first cou­ple of years. That’s a shame too as it is very good for them,’’ she said.

Community de­vel­op­ment man­ager Amanda Hema said ad­ver­tis­ing for the va­cant po­si­tions has be­gun with five ap­pli­ca­tions be­ing re­ceived.

Mrs Hema said all ef­forts were made to talk to the for­mer youth coun­cil­lors.

‘‘Staff email, phone, text and write let­ters; even try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate through their nom­i­nat­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion; only then do we es­ca­late to His Wor­ship the Mayor . . . So as to the rea­son for lack of en­gage­ment it’s dif­fi­cult for staff to as­cer­tain; how­ever we sus­pect that over­com­mit­ment is a key is­sue.’’

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