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Instep Young Leaders Prioritise Tertiary

Instep Young Leaders Prioritise Tertiary

MEDIA RELEASE:  Tuesday 21 May 2013.  Students from nine secondary schools in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty gathered for a working breakfast yesterday to help shape and plan the future of their community.  Working with city, district and regional councillors, the young leaders brainstormed issues of importance to them in the areas of the natural environment, transport and tertiary education.

The Young Leaders Forum was established by Priority One’s Instep programme in 2009 to give young people a voice on the future development of the sub-region, build and maintain relationships between youth and local government, develop the leadership skills of young people and build community networks.  It is now a partnership involving Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Using SmartGrowth, the sub-region’s growth management strategy, as basis of discussion, the 23 students that took part in the event identified tertiary education as the most important issue for the sub-region’s future.  They felt that investment in tertiary education was essential for the sub-region to compete nationally in the attraction and retention of people and the creation of jobs. 

The students also saw many opportunities arising from the establishment of a tertiary and research campus in Tauranga’s city centre, which is a project being undertaken by the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership comprising the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, University of Waikato and Whakatane based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.  Specific programmes of study relating to the sub-region’s competitive advantages were highlighted, including marine research and transport and logistics.

Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, Jane Nees, said “The students were unconstrained by history in their thinking about the future and their enthusiasm and openness was infectious.  I was encouraged by their understanding about the needs of society and the importance of having a balance.”

Priority One’s Instep Manager, Lyn Parlane, says “The students had fantastic ideas which showed their understanding of issues and opportunities in the sub-region.  It was great having elected members from all of our local authorities present so they could hear directly from the students what is important to them and their future here.”

ENDS

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