Waitomo District Youth Councillors for the 2017/2018 year
15 Jun 2017, 8:52 AM
The 2017 Waitomo District Youth Council (WDYC) was officially announced on Thursday 1 June.
The new youth Council was announced to coincide with Youth Week (May 26 - June 4) and Matariki (June 1) – the Maori New Year.
Council members are: Maija Stephens, Justez Howe, Sahila Sharma, Sam Bentham, Taylor Allen, Raiden van Herpen, Tangirau Papa, Jamee-Leigh Matiu, Vwaru Mathews, Sam Anderson, Jess Schrafft, Xavier Turner, and Puhi Ngawaka.
The students from Te Kuiti High School, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto and Piopio College are a team of diverse young people aged 13-17 years, representing various ethnicities, age, geographic location, gender, and experience.
Waitomo Mayor Brian Hanna, Councillor Janene New, and WDC Chief Executive Chris Ryan congratulated them on their appointments.
WDC Community Development Coordinator Clowdy Ngatai says there is a positive connection between involving youth in community activities and the increase in overall community engagement.
“Waitomo District Council facilitates the involvement of young people in local governance and decision-making.” “We achieve this by establishing a formal group of youth who provide a voice for our community.”
“WDC will support and guide the WDYC so they can complete projects within the 12 months, and look back with pride at what they have all achieved,” says Mrs Ngatai.
The next step is to develop a plan and assign roles and responsibilities for the Youth Council members.
Mayor Brian Hanna says that it is admirable to see the enthusiasm that the WDYC has to understand local government better and represent other young people and their communities to make a difference.
“Our Youth Council is a reminder that Waitomo district is full of great young people who are keen to contribute to our community. I look forward to working with them and seeing them develop over the year."
The first meeting of the WDYC is planned for the end of June.