Plea to do more to engage youth in council

The Dunedin City Council needs to do more to get young people involved in the decision-making process, Cr Jinty MacTavish says.

Cr MacTavish made the comments as councillors this week discussed the council's "community engagement plan'' for the 2016-17 annual plan.

The engagement plan staff came up with did not go far enough and council staff needed to come with new ways to get young people interested in taking part in council processes, she said.

Young people would not be interested in a pamphlet that arrived in their mailbox which was "full of graphs'' and looked as though it was "there for their parents''.

"I think we do have room to do some more innovative things and interesting things around that,'' Cr MacTavish said.

Mayor Dave Cull said trying to get more youth involved in council processes was a fraught and challenging area.

"We tend to beat ourselves up as if we are responsible for the fact that people don't turn up to meetings and it's very difficult to get around that,'' Mr Cull said.

Council staff could only do their best and there was no guarantee of success.

Cr John Bezett agreed.

"The fact is ... the annual plan is not an exciting document for a lot of young people to read.

"To try to get them interested and then actually come along and actually make their comments is very, very difficult.

"If staff can find away of doing that, well good luck to you, but I am saying don't hold your breath, because I don't think it's going to happen.''

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