Tasman youth to gain voice in local government

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

Members of the Tasman Youth Council will now be able to participate in local government meetings, as agreed on by Council’s Community Development Committee.

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 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.”

Peter says 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.”