Ashburton Youth Council recruiting young leaders, aged 12 to 24

Published: 10 November 2021

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Through covid and coming to the aid of a woman in a submerged car, Ashburton Youth Council leader Michael Baker has had an interesting year.

Michael found himself on national television after the flood rescue at Kaikoura - he had been on his way to a young leaders conference in Wellington. Any good person would have done the same thing, he said.

At home in Ashburton, he and the Youth Council spent hours helping to organise the annual Bite Nite Culture Fest, only for the Delta covid outbreak to eventually force its cancellation.

With its highs and lows, the past year also presented opportunities for the young council to have its say on a range of Ashburton District Council policies – including encouraging the Council to have wider footpaths and safer roads as part of its Walking and Cycling Strategy.

Michael says community leaders are realising the positive connection between involving youth in community activities and engagement.

“We bring energy and ideas, often with our own perspective about how to tackle challenges and opportunities.”

The Youth Council is currently recruiting for new members and Michael says young people between the ages of 12 and 24 should think about joining, as membership bought plenty of opportunities to contribute, grow and learn.

Current members represent different communities within the Ashburton District and meet in a formal council setting once a month to do business, but also have some fun.

Cr Lynette Lovett is one of two elected councillors who sit on the Youth Council and she said the young people provided valuable feedback.

“They often move on to other groups, where they continue giving and learning. They are our partners at Council and recognised as valuable assets. These young people help increase our awareness of youth issues and services and tell us what they think young people need.

“It’s also a great way to kick-start leadership ambitions and is a positive addition to any CV.”

Young people wanting to apply to join the Council can apply to do so before 21 December. The application form is on Council's website.

Youth Council members must live in the Ashburton district.

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