It's recruitment time for the Whanganui Youth Committee and it wants to shake its current image of only taking on high achievers.

A legal sub-committee of the Whanganui District Council, the Youth Council is looking for seven 12-24-year-old representatives.

Whanganui District councillor and Youth Committee appointee James Barron says he would like to see a couple of "ratbags" in the role.

Youth committee project support officer Nicole Grey agrees.


"It's not about who is best on a mic or the most intelligent," she said. "It's about representing everybody."

"We want to make sure that we have a diverse bunch of people. There are 8000 young people in Whanganui roughly so we want to make sure that those people are represented and their voices are at the table."

Grey admitted that the Youth Committee brings different perspectives to the councillors.

"The councillors are not young people and so they are probably unable to know what the experience of living in Whanganui is for someone who is between 12 and 24-years-old."

The Youth Committee was formed in 2003 and contributes to the decision making of council every six weeks at the regular council meeting.

It also has a budget. Last year, the council allocated $65,000 of funding, an increase on previous years.

"We're not just some people who come in and just have meetings," Youth Committee representative Ariana Cronshaw said. "We want to create change in Whanganui around the community so we need to get that out there more."

The Youth Committee is a formal committee of council and has legal obligations, expectations with it. Grey works with the young people on the committee to make sure these are met while developing, training and team building.


"Actually having money, that you can have an idea and do it, and there's freedom," she said. "The Youth Committee can choose what they want to do which is pretty exciting."

"Even though I don't want to be a politician later on in life it's giving me communication skills," said co-chair of the Youth Committee Ahimsha Saravanapavan. "Presenting in front of council has taught me how to be more confident and just working together with people."

More information about Youth Committee can be found on the Whanganui District Council website, with applications for the seven positions closing on March 13.

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