De­light as youth coun­cil ap­proved

Whanganui Chronicle - - News - Ja­cob McSweeny ja­[email protected]­i­cle.co.nz

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 three­day 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

"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." Nar­dia Gower

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 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 can­di­dates would take place 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 would then have a train­ing week­end and an in­au­gu­ral meet­ing in March next year. ■ Any per­son aged be­tween 13 and 24 who is in­ter­ested can find out more at www.face­book.com/TRYBnz/.

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