Council hears younger point of view

By Abi Thomas


Council issues normally make most young people switch off, but the Whangarei district's Youth Advisory Group (YAG) wants to take the opinions of local youth directly to the decision-makers.

The 15 members of YAG, which was set up earlier this year, meet monthly with the council to discuss ways of engaging with local young people.

The group is holding a stall titled 'Shape Your City' in Cameron St Mall on Saturday, calling for young people to come along and fill out a short survey to contribute their ideas.


YAG member Brad Olsen, a 15-year-old Whangarei Boys' High School student, said the council's youth policy was last updated in 2002.

He said it also wasn't very specific and needed to be more action-based.

He said breaking local issues down to make them easier to understand would help engage youth. Seventeen-year-old Kamo High School student Lilly MacKinnon agreed. "If it's older people talking, then it's their lingo that's hard to understand ... we need to make it easier."

Tiana Cramp, a 17-year-old NorthTec business student, said young people in Whangarei were bored. "We need things for them to do to distract them from causing trouble."

YAG wants young people to stop by their stall on Saturday and fill in a short anonymous survey which asks about issues like Whangarei's public transport system, tertiary education and job opportunities, and suggesting a "crazy idea" they'd like to see happen in the city.

'Shape Your City' is in Cameron St mall from 10am until midday on Saturday, featuring local music group OBC (OutBreak Crew) and freebies to give away.

Go to: www.facebook.com/ShapeYourCity

 

- Northern Advocate

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