Whakatāne District Councillor, Toni Boynton says being a part of the youth council is a unique opportunity for young people in the district to become active participants in shaping their community’s future.
Councillor Boynton will be the Council representative on the Youth Council and act as a mentor.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to make connections with rangatahi from across the district. You’ll use your voice to advocate for your peers and advise Council on youth matters, while developing your leadership skills,” she said.
“There will be opportunities to be mentored by leaders in our community, get involved in community events and contribute to projects.”
There are 12 positions on the Youth Council, with successful applicants holding the position for the remainder of the calendar year. Commitments include attending meetings every four to six weeks, which could take place online and in-person, and organising and taking part in several youth events throughout the year.
Manager Community Partnerships, Frank Begley says there was also an option for those with conflicting commitments to be part of the ‘Friends of the Whakatāne Youth Council’ group.
“We understand the time pressures youth can be under with studies and other activities, so becoming a ‘Friend of the Youth Council’ enables those with other commitments to still be involved with Youth Council events and additional learning opportunities,” he said.
Councillor Boynton said being a Youth Council representative was an effective way to ensure the uniqueness of the youth perspective is brought to the table.
“It’s about making sure that young people’s views are represented in Council decision-making.”
“The world is changing rapidly, and if we don’t pay attention to what young people are seeing and saying, we will miss the boat. The Youth Council is in a distinctive and important position to make sure that happens,” she said.
Anyone aged between 14 and 24 years old, lives in the Whakatāne District and is interested in becoming a member of the Whakatāne District Youth Council must submit their application before Friday, 1 March.