News | 18 August 2023
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Meet Council’s first Youth Engagement Specialist

Born and raised in Pōneke, Wellington City Council's Youth Engagement Specialist Greer Forde-MacNaughton is passionate about helping young Wellingtonians understand their power and ability to shape the city they call home.

A woman wearing a colourful vest and a puffy sleeved navy top smiling with her hands on her hips.

For Greer, the best part of her job is helping communities in the city she loves.

She has spent her life in Wellington and enjoys its quirks; from blustery Lyall Bay walks to the bustling energy of Cuba Street. She is always listening out for birdsong and loves to chat with people about the things that make Wellington special to them.

“Young people often don’t understand the power they hold, especially when it comes to local government. Everyone can participate in making decisions about their home. Helping people realise this and showing them how they add value to decision making is absolutely the best part of my job.”
Having first worked for Wellington City Council at the age of 17, Greer moved through a range of community development and youth work roles leading her to where she is now - the first Youth Engagement Specialist for the Council. 

This role came about when the Council began developing the Strategy for Children and Young People in 2021 and it was noted that there was a significant need for increased support for young people in Wellington to help them participate in Council decision making. 

Greer says she has always been passionate about democracy and how individual people can use their voice for change - creating sustainable and engaged cities that are designed for the people who live in them.  
“When it comes down to it, my job is to include young people in decision making around the city they love. Young people are an integral part of Wellington now and into the future, this is their home and if we want them to thrive here they should be included in the conversations that are going on about how this city grows and changes."

A woman wearing a colourful vest and a puffy sleeved navy top smiling infront of a mural.

Greer loves how the role is complex and multifaceted. 

It includes supporting the delivery of the Strategy for Children and Young People, working across complex projects like the Local Body Election and Long Term Plan, as well as strategic work around the direction of Council’s youth engagement to ensure engagement is safe, accessible and mana enhancing for young people.
Reflecting on highlights from the last 18 months, Greer thinks of the 2022 Local Body Election.

“I was really proud of the work we did around the election. Wellington saw an increase in voter turn out. There is a lot of great work being done across the organisation to help demystify local government for our rangatahi and support them to engage. Our Communications Team in particular is doing some fantastic work through channels like TikTok.”

Looking at the future, Greer is aware that there’s always more to do in this space to enhance the ability of young people to sustainably engage in shaping the city in new and innovative ways. 

She encourages people to take part and get in touch.

“If you are a young Wellingtonian and are keen to get involved in the work being done by Council, you can keep up with engagements on our Kōrero Mai page or if you want to chat about ideas you have for ways the Council could better serve young people, you can connect with me.”

Check out Kōrero Mai or email Greer to talk about youth engagement.