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Boards Embrace Shore Youth

Boards Embrace Shore Youth

Local Shore Youth Council members had attended each of the six community boards in North Shore by the end of Youth Week. They raised such issues as the lack of youth-friendly meeting space in Albany, the loss of the North Shore Events Centre as a venue for youth events, safety in parks and need for improved night services for ferries and buses in North Shore.

The Community Boards all welcomed the input of the Shore Youth Council representatives and requested them to more regularly engage with them. With youth representatives already sitting with the Birkenhead, Glenfield and Devonport Community Boards, this means young people are increasingly being having a greater say about issues in their communities.

Shore Youth Council members that were taken on by their local community boards in 2005 include current co-chair Stephanie Rahardja in Glenfield and executive team member Simon Poulton in Birkenhead.

Stephanie says, “At first it was pretty daunting but the Board was very encouraging. I now speak up and make sure that they understand how their decisions might affect young people.” Simon agrees, and says, “Although I can’t vote, I sometimes have a completely different perspective on issues than the Board and I can see how they take that into account when it comes to placing their vote.”

This move shows the decision-makers are prepared to challenge youth stereotypes and meet the Youth Week challenge to: “Include young people. Grow our community.”

ENDS

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