Tuesday, April 23, 2024

2024 Hastings Youth Council named

Seventeen young people have been selected to represent Hastings’ younger residents on this year’s Hastings Youth Council, with six members returning from last year.

“I joined Youth Council to give rangatahi a voice at the table, so it’s a tremendous honour to now have the opportunity to give back to my community in this way,” said Lindisfarne College student, Chris Proctor, who was elected chair at the council’s first formal meeting this week.

He said the youth council’s aim this year was to build on the momentum of previous youth council members while growing the team culture, vision and impact.

“With Covid and Cyclone Gabrielle in the rear-view mirror, it is crucial to uplift and empower rangatahi more than ever before.”

“And as Hasting District Council gears up to deliver its Long-Term Plan, we must prioritise the inclusion of the youth voice in the process. We want to light the spark and lay the foundation for the next generation to thrive.”

He said all rangatahi had a unique voice to share, story to tell and perspective to bring that must be elevated and acknowledged.

“We want rangatahi across Heretaunga-Hastings to back themselves and know they have the power, passion and resolve to truly move mountains. Something to fight for, something to hope for and something to believe in – now and in the future.”

Hastings councillor and youth advisor, Wendy Schollum said this year was pivotal for the youth council.

“With a tailored focus on political education, our young leaders will gain deep insights into the mechanics of local government, enhancing their capacity to contribute meaningfully to our community’s future,” she said.

“Securing speaking rights on council subcommittees in 2020 was a milestone achievement, empowering our youth councillors to voice their ideas and concerns where it truly matters. This year, we’re committed to ensuring these voices are not just heard but acted upon, embedding the wisdom and insights of our rangatahi in every facet of our decision-making.

“Together, we’re not just planning for tomorrow; we’re laying the groundwork for generations to come.”

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