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2020 Hastings Youth Council Appointed

From wanting the youth voice to be central to decision making to tackling climate change, the 2020 Hastings district youth councillors are brimming with enthusiasm about the year ahead.

Nineteen proud young Hastings residents aged 15 to 21 have been selected for this year’s youth council, keen to give a youth perspective on issues the council deals with, and get involved in youth-related projects.

The newly appointed members of the Hastings District Youth Council met for the first time earlier this month, keen to find ways to engage local young people in hot topics facing youth today.

The first step was an induction and planning session to set their agenda for the year and discuss their aspirations.

For Karamu High School student Romona Wainohu, the goal of joining the council was to help students in the community access all the tools available to better themselves.

“I also hope to broaden my contact circle and meet new people so we can work together and better the future of the rangatahi in Hastings.”

Lindisfarne College student Finley Robert Duncan said he appreciated all the facilities in Hastings from ethnic and cultural hubs to cutting-edge educational facilities.

As a youth councillor he said he wants to contribute to improving life for those growing up in Hastings.

“I want to help give them the opportunities and capability needed to thrive in the pressures of the modern world.”

Hastings district councillor and youth council representative Wendy Schollum says she’s excited to work alongside the youth councillors to ensure that their ideas and vision for the district’s future are incorporated in the upcoming Long Term Plan, Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy reviews and beyond.

“I’m also excited to work with the Youth Council and councillors in an effort to provide shadowing opportunities for those who are interested in learning more about the role of elected members.”

She said the new council governance structure also presented opportunities for youth councillors to attend sub-committee meetings, for the first time providing them with the opportunity to give feedback on planning around the economy, the environment and social and cultural wellbeing.

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