Sixteen young Hastings residents have been selected to represent the town’s younger residents on this year’s Hastings Youth Council.
Having a rangatahi voice heard and valued in council discussions was a common theme among those who applied for and were selected to the role as new or returning youth councillors, Hastings District Council said in a statement today.
Karamu High School student, Lena Ormsby, 16, was selected as chair of the council and said she applied to join to be a voice for those who aren’t often heard.
“I also wanted to be able to understand different youth perspectives to help achieve a better future for our community.”
Jorja Earley, 17, from Hastings Girls’ High School said she was excited about the opportunity to build a connection between young people and council.
“I think that there are a lot of young people out there who don’t fully understand what the council is and does. I think that it is important for youth to understand who runs the place we live and why they choose to make the decisions that they do.”
Hastings Girls’ High School student, Aashmeen Jalaf, 17, said she was keen to address some of the key issues affecting youth in Hastings – including mental health and climate change.
“As a 2022 youth councillor, I’m also looking forward to getting to know much more of our youth community through some fun community events and activities throughout the year!”
Hastings Councillor, Wendy Schollum said she was excited to work alongside and mentor the Youth Council again in 2022.
“The Youth Council has gone from strength to strength over the past three years,” she said.
“From being a purely events-focused body, the Hastings Youth Council is now active participating in Council policy making, whether providing a youth perspective on Council subcommittees, making formal submissions on behalf of Hastings’ rangatahi during Council consultation, or by conveying their views in the media.
“This is a proactive group passionately advocating for youth interests, and excitingly, the 2022 Youth Council is a carefully considered mix of returning and new youth councillors, demonstrating excellent succession planning and ensuring no momentum is lost as past youth councillors move on and energetic new young people take their place.
“The Hastings Youth Council is an asset to decision-making across the organisation.”