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Youth Council to include more community reps

Youth Council to include more community representatives

Usually comprised of high school representatives, this year’s Waitakere Youth Council will include community representatives.

The 2005 Youth Council will be formally launched this Saturday, 10am, with a powhiri at the Council Chamber in Henderson. Additional community representatives from tertiary level, alternative education, community youth groups and training schools will provide a wider voice of opinion on youth issues for the council.

Previously, the Youth Council comprised representatives from all ten of Waitakere’s high schools. However, the move to include community representatives came after interviews with the Council and community members identified the need for a wider range of representation.

Child and Youth advocate Councillor Linda Cooper says that with 33% of Waitakere’s population under 20, having a forum for the Council to communicate with the city’s youth is pivotal. “The Youth Council plays an important role as an independent advisory committee. Their feedback is invited and used to develop strategy and policy in line with the Council’s First Call for Children strategic priority.

“A recent application of this is the extension of Te Pai Skate Park, an event celebrated by over 4,000 youth, made possible by the feedback and advocacy that the Youth Council provided,” she says.

Formed in 1993, the Youth Council is the formal forum where youth are asked to comment on issues from council committees and officers. They can also make submissions to committees and officers.

--ends—

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