From the Mayor’s Chair

The Tribune (NZ) - - OPINION | CONVERSATIONS - A RE­FLEC­TION FROM CR ALEISHA RUTHER­FORD

May was a busy month cel­e­brat­ing young peo­ple across Palmer­ston North.

I was sworn in as the youngest ever Jus­tice of the Peace in Cen­tral Dis­tricts, and one of the youngest across New Zealand.

The Youth Coun­cil went through a re­cruit­ment process wel­com­ing sev­eral new mem­bers, while a new ex­ec­u­tive was voted in to lead it through 2016.

The Youth Sec­tor cel­e­brated Youth Week (May 21 – 29) with the theme of ‘Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu – Giv­ing Back is Giv­ing For­ward’.

There were free sausage siz­zles for stu­dents at Massey Uni­ver­sity and UCOL, free care packs were dis­trib­uted to young peo­ple across the city, and at the an­nual Youth Week Awards,12 groups and in­di­vid­u­als re­ceived ‘Make a Dif­fer­ence’ awards.

Palmer­ston North, with a me­dian age of ap­prox­i­mately 33 years, is known as a young and vi­brant city. We have a strong youth sec­tor, led and co­or­di­nated by the Palmy Youth Net­work in­volv­ing over 400 in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions who share a vi­sion to con­nect the sec­tor, raise stan­dards and cham­pion youth de­vel­op­ment

I’ve been a part of the Youth Net­work since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2009. It has been pretty spe­cial to see it grow and tran­si­tion to meet the needs of those who work with young peo­ple in our com­mu­nity.

Stu­dent City is an area of coun­cil that in the past 12 months has gone from strength to strength. With a young, dy­namic co­or­di­na­tor who has built strong re­la­tion­ships with stu­dent body rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ter­tiary or­gan­i­sa­tions, stu­dents are in good hands.

We have many op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep build­ing on the brand and work of Stu­dent City and no doubt some of those will come to light in the next 12 months.

– Coun­cil­lor Aleisha Ruther­ford is the lead spokesper­son for the Youth and Stu­dents Port­fo­lio and the sup­port spokesper­son for the City Coun­cil’s Ru­ral and Vil­lages port­fo­lio. Con­tact Aleisha with any ques­tions, com­ments or con­cerns at aleisha.ruther­ford@pncc.govt.nz, 027 404 8551 or face­book.com/aleisha4p­ncc

Mem­bers of Youth Ac­tion Group Manawatu marched in Novem­ber 2015 ahead of UN cli­mate talks.

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