The newly elected Hastings Youth Council.
Sixteen young people have been selected to represent the young residents of Hastings on this year’s Hastings Youth Council.
The youth council means that a rangatahi voice is heard in Hastings District Council discussions.
Wanting to make the voices of young people heard was a common theme among those who applied and were selected to be new or former youth advisors.
Karamu High School student Lena Ormsby, 16, has been chosen as the new youth council president.
Lena said she applied to become the voice of those not often heard.
“I also wanted to be able to understand the different perspectives of young people to contribute to a better future for our community,” she said.
Jorja Earley, a 17-year-old from Hastings Girls’ Secondary School, was delighted to have the opportunity to connect young people with the council.
“I think a lot of young people don’t fully understand what the council is and does.
“Young people need to understand who runs the place, where we live and why they choose to make decisions,” Jorja said.
Aashmeen Jalaf, 17, a student at Hastings Girls High School, said she wanted to address some of the key issues affecting young people in Hastings, including mental health and climate change.
“As a 2022 Youth Advisor, I look forward to learning more about our youth community through fun community events and activities throughout the year.”
Hastings councilor Wendy Schollum said she was delighted to work alongside and mentor the youth council again in 2022.
“The Youth Council has gone from strength to strength over the past three years. From being a purely event-driven body, Hastings Youth Council is now actively involved in shaping council policy.”
The youth council provides perspective on council sub-committees, making formal submissions on behalf of the Hastings rangatahi when consulting the council or conveying their views in the media.
“This is a proactive group that passionately advocates for the interests of young people,” Schollum said.
The 2022 Youth Council is a mix of returning and new Youth Councillors.
“This demonstrates excellent succession planning and ensures that no momentum is lost as former youth advisers move on and new, energetic young people take their place,” Schollum said.
“The Hastings Youth Council is an asset to decision-making across the organization.”