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Youth to gain voice in local government

April 6th, 2017
[TDC press release]

The Tasman District Council is moving ahead with plans to give young people a voice in local decision-making.

The Council's Community Development Committee today agreed to support greater opportunities for members of the Tasman Youth Council to participate in local government meetings.

The first step will be for the Council to work with Community Boards and Community Associations towards offering youth councillors speaking rights at some meetings.

Community Development Committee chairman Peter Canton (pictured) said the initiative would bring young people's perspectives to the table, and give youth councillors the opportunity to develop governance skills.

"It will provide a pathway for young people who are interested in a career in government or politics a real opportunity to participate at the local level, gain a greater understanding of what's involved, and develop skills in a supportive environment."

Cr Canton said that, if successful, the initiative could be expanded to offer youth councillors speaking rights on Council committees, allowing them to act in an advisory role to Tasman District councillors.

"The ultimate aim of this initiative is to give our elected councillors a fresh insight into the issues that matter to our young people," he said.

The Tasman Youth Council was established in 1998 after local young people told the Council they wanted to have their voices heard and their interests taken seriously.

There are four regional clusters - Waimea, Motueka, Golden Bay and Murchison. Each cluster carries out projects and initiatives relevant to the needs expressed by young people in their communities.

Youth councillors are offered youth leadership and development opportunities to help them fulfil their role.

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