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Students to take region’s eco-issues to Forum

Students selected to take region’s eco-issues to Forum

Four high school students have been selected by the Auckland Regional Council to take Auckland’s environmental issues to the first ever Ministry for the Environment Youth Forum next Wednesday.

The four-day forum, which is fully-funded by the MfE, aims to involve young people in discussion and policy development for the environmental issues facing New Zealand.

The establishment of the forum was announced on World Environment Day in June, by environment minister Marian Hobbs.

A formally structured national forum for young New Zealanders with an interest in the environment would have a real impact, Hobbs said in her announcement.

"We need young people with a strong understanding of the issues facing this country, and the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to tackle these issues, at a community, regional and national level,” she said. “The leaders of tomorrow must come from the young people of today, and investing in them - building their confidence and experience is another form of sustainable development.”

The four year 12 and 13 students chosen by the ARC were Pamela Mills from Mount Roskill Grammar, Ben Harawira from Massey High School, Bella Burgess from Auckland Girls Grammar, and Tania Hurley from Rangitoto College.

ARC human resources advisor Drew McGuire said the students were chosen for their understanding of the main environmental issues affecting their region, their involvement in environmental matters, and their enthusiasm about the environment.

“The calibre of applicants was so high that we ended up choosing four students instead of three,” Mr McGuire said. “The whole selection process really demonstrated the number of young people who are the antithesis of apathy, and who are taking action in their schools and communities.”

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