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Hurunui Welcomes New Youth Councillors

It’s shaping to be a stellar year for Hurunui’s young people, with the district’s newly selected youth leaders starting 2024 on full throttle.

William Munsey was elected Chair and Millie Jane McIlraith Deputy Chair at this year’s first meeting of the Hurunui Youth Council, held last week.

William’s no stranger to Hurunui’s young people, having joined the Hurunui Youth Programme in 2019 and Youth Council in 2023.

It had been a journey of learning, William said.

“I've done a lot of workshops and activities that have given me new skills. Last year as a Youth Councillor I held the Environment portfolio and, as part of that, we worked with Hurunui College and the Hawarden Waikari Lions for a planting day out at the Balmoral Fire Lookout.”

Participation in last year’s YES Camp fired William to join the Hawarden Volunteer fire brigade and, at 16 years old, he is also the youngest member of the Hawarden Waikari Civil Defence team.

“I believe it’s essential for youth to get involved in the community and that this is a role that the Youth Council can play in encouraging other young people, as well as the community to work with our young people.”

Civic participation is also important to Millie, who stepped down as Chair after serving for the last two years. Both Hurunui College students, she and William were the two Youth Council representatives on the Hurunui Community Committee, ensuring the youth voice was carried into decision making.

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Supporting Hurunui’s youth leadership is well underway, said Hurunui Council’s Youth Team Leader Jo Sherwood, with a workshop on how to create the perfect event kicking off the year in January, thanks to funding from the Ministry of Youth Development.

“This was a great foundation for the start of the year for our 11 Youth Councillors and 19 Hurunui Youth Programme leaders,” said Sherwood. “They also shared ideas on what they would love to see for young people of the district in the year ahead.”

Both Hurunui Youth Programme leaders and Youth Councillors attended Leadership Camps in Kaikōura during the last week of January, to work further on mapping out events for the district’s young people for the year ahead and identifying key priorities.

“It’s going to be a busy year,” Sherwood said, “with key issues including mental health, road safety, volunteering, online safety and environmental education just being a few.

"We have a vacancy representing Cheviot and look forward to finding an awesome young person to join the team."

2024 Youth Councillors:

William Munsey - Hurunui College – Chair.

Millie Jane McIlraith - Hurunui College – Deputy Chair.

Aliannah Thompson - Rangiora High School

Hayley Fisher - Amuri Area School

Laura Cundy - Amuri Area School

Madison Wayne - Amuri Area School

Miane Grove - Hurunui College

Sam Bush - Ara institute of Canterbury.

Tamzyn Murdoch - Te Kura distance learning.

Taylor Upritchard - Hurunui College

William Grant – Employed.

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