Since it started in 1998, it has been a direct line of communication from young people to Wellington City Council, and remains a strong voice for them in the city.
“Young people are a key part of Wellington, helping to make our city a vibrant and forward-looking place to live,” says Mayor Justin Lester, who will today host a small afternoon tea to celebrate the milestone.
“The Council really values what Youth Council has to say and it’s wonderful to be able to congratulate them on 20 years of service. The work they do for our city is invaluable, and we continue to look forward to hearing the ideas of youth at the Council table.”
Youth Council’s role in Wellington is to assist and advise the City Council on how to help grow a city where young people thrive and contribute to the City Council’s priorities, and to bring a youth perspective to solve problems facing a changing world.
Brad Olsen has been Chair of the Youth Council since September 2017, and is excited to celebrate its past and strengthen it for the future.
“Youth Council acts as a conduit between young people and Council – communicating the aspirations of young people to Council decision-makers, and Council announcements to the young people that will be affected by change,” he says.
“It’s important young people get a say on how the place they live runs, and Youth Council makes sure to provide that opportunity.
“Much of the Youth Council’s activities lie in submitting to Council on plans, policies and bylaws. So far this year, we have provided input on the Public Places Bylaw, the Te Reo Policy – Te Tauihu, and the 10-Year Plan. Each of these has wide-ranging effects on how young people go about their lives.
“We’re excited today to not only celebrate Youth Council’s past and recognise the work we’ve done, but also to be looking to the future. We’re looking for new Youth Councillors who are passionate about Wellington and want to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Youth Council is made up of up to 20 young people aged 14-24, and meets fortnightly to discuss topics relevant to young people and Council.
Applications for Youth Council for the coming year are currently open, with a closing date of 1 July. Youth Councillors are appointed for a one-year term. Those interested in applying can find out more at wellington.govt.nz.