A youth participation advisory group for the Dunedin City
Council is to be set up after the council signed off on the
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the group, which would develop a
new structure for better youth participation in council
decision-making processes, was essential, given rising
concerns about low voter turnout and lack of participation in
local government, particularly by young people.
Councils had been looking for ways to encourage participation
in elections because the fewer voters participated, the more
frail a council's mandate was.
''I see this as one step, and only one, we can take to
encourage that participation.''
Through its consultation processes the council knew there
were groups in the community that had great things to say,
and this was also a way of tapping into that, he said.
Cr Aaron Hawkins, who will be chairman of the group, said it
was an opportunity to start getting information out to and
back from a demographic the council's present consultation
might not reach.
He hoped that by next year there would be a greater youth
input into the long-term budget planning process.
The advisory group would involve representatives from
tertiary student associations, youth welfare and employment