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The Clutha District Youth Council held its first meeting on Monday, electing Kelsey Harrison as chairwoman and Richard Blair as deputy chairman.
The youth council was formed in 2008 as a standing committee of the full council to advocate to the council on behalf of youth.
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said he hoped the youth council would take on one major project this year with the aim of changing perceptions of the district.
''I'm excited about the prospects offered by this year's youth council ... I think each year each youth council is lifting the bar.''
The youth council offered a chance for the district's young people to be heard, he said.
Each youth councillor is paired with a district councillor, who acts as a mentor.
Last month, youth councillors took part in a two-day programme run by RiverRidge Retreat owner Gary Dawkins.
The retreat was based in the Catlins, and included leadership and team-building exercises and a kayak trip along the Tautuku River, and outlined the responsibilities and tasks involved in being a youth councillor.
The youth council's next meeting is scheduled for March 18.
The 2013 youth councillors are Olivia Adam, Samantha Allan, Richard Blair, Nikeisha Clarke, Garth Devereux, Leaha Dickey, Tyler Ford, Zoe Hancox, Kelsey Harrison, Kate Morrison, Hayley Smith and Holly Wilson. Two Telford student representatives have yet to be confirmed.