Four of our members recently spent three full on days in Christchurch at New Zealand Model Parliament, hosted by UN Youth. This national event for secondary school students focused on New Zealand's parliamentary system. Attendees experienced the process of a bill becoming legislation through the House of Representatives by taking on the role of a Member of Parliament and debating interesting, pressing and relevant issues.
Working in Select Committees, they learnt about specific areas of NZ politics (eg Maori affairs, Environment, Justice) and applied this knowledge to a mock bill, debating whether or not to codify and entrench New Zealand's constitution.
All four youth came away with a far greater understanding of politics in NZ and a desire to take part in more events like this. The opportunity to think big, debate, hone public speaking skills and hang out with other like-minded youth was amazing!
Owen Thornton represented as a Labour MP for Christchurch East, in the Justice Select Committee.
Rocco Cullen represented as a Labour MP for the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, in the Environment Select Committee.
Noah Bentley represented as a National MP for the East Coast electorate, in the Maori Affairs Select Committee.
Petra Jellyman represented as a National MP for the Northland electorate, in the Maori Affairs Select Committee.
We had an awesome day out at the Christchurch Youth Council's Amazing Race event on 4th August. We entered two teams; Flameingo and Rainbow Delta Squad.
The race encompassed a series of challenges at mandatory stops, photo challenges and micro questions. There was a great mix of activities ranging from consultation and educational through to physical challenges, observation and creativity.
Our thanks go out to CYC for organising this fantastic event. We really enjoyed catching up with other youth and leaders we knew and getting ideas for our own events in the future.
Our AGM was held at Kaikōura District Council Chambers on Tuesday 23 July.
12 members attended and unanimously elected Owen Thornton and Petra Jellyman as Co-Chairs for the year. We were very grateful to Theo Rae for agreeing to continue in the role of Secretary. We talked about Aspiring Chairs and agreed that we will mentor and support Solomon Bentley, Theo Rae and Jade Cullen to gain skills and develop confidence to aspire to become Chairs in the future.
Our annual accounts were adopted and approved for uploading to the Societies register.
We reviewed our workplan that we set in February and are on track with all of our planned events and initiatives for the year!
KYC attended a Top of the South Forum on 12th July with Marlborough and Nelson Youth Councils.
There is real value for us to meet with other YCs - we make connections with like-minded people, we learn how other organisations function and we get new ideas for initiatives and events we can be involved in.
KYC is quite different from other YCs - we have a younger member base (we accept any students from our High School and up to 24 year olds; this means we have year 7/8 students which other YCs don't). We accept new members throughout the year and we are really inclusive - if you want to join just come on in - we don't use an application process to pick who is going to be part of our group. We are also an independent group from our District Council - we are an Incorporated Society with our own deed etc. We aren't a council committee. So there are lots of points of difference in the make up of our group.
Another big point of difference is that we meet weekly - we have so much going on and want to keep on top of it (and it's fun!) that we meet every Tuesday during term time. We also run our own events as well as inputting to District Council, making submission on topical issues and attending training where possible. We do a bit of everything - in big centres there are more groups doing more for and with youth - in our wee town we are involved across a broad spectrum.
At the forum we had an awesome presentation around Wellbeing and Mindfulness - something that we are all interested in and keen to learn more about.
We are really proud of one of our members, Petra Jellyman, who won a Ministry of Youth Development national youth award for Volunteering recently!
Petra has been part of our Youth Council since 2013 and has held the role of Chairperson and Secretary in the past.
Petra is one of those people who gives up heaps of time to make things happen for other people. She also volunteers with GirlGuiding NZ as a Ranger in Leadership and is part of their Ranger Advocacy Panel, a national panel of 9 girls who advise GirlGuiding on what advocacy initiatives the organisation should focus on. Petra has volunteered for the Community Meal for a couple of years in the past and also volunteers at school - Head Librarian, Prefect, Peer Supporter and part of a group running a weekly club for year 7/8's.
Phew - with all that time given to others, it is not surprising to us to see Petra recognised nationally for her mahi!
Petra was presented her award at the Beehive by the Minister for Youth, Peeni Henare.
“Aotearoa is incredibly lucky to have such a diverse group of young people working hard to make our country a better place. The recipients of this year’s Awards have achieved so much and contributed to their communities in many ways. I believe that recognising positive actions taken by young people is one of my most important roles as the Minister for Youth,” Peeni Henare said.
The awards recognised 14 recipients across 7 categories.
Youth Council visited Innovative Waste Kaikōura yesterday to check out their operation. IWK's Chloe ensured we had the appropriate people cones (fluoro vests) for leading and following the group while we looked through the whole site.
We were really impressed with the changes to the yard, the professional worksite and logical flow for recycling.
A visit to the landfill site was eye-opening to say the least - plastic, plastic and more plastic - stunning to see how much is coming in as 'dump' rubbish and going into the ground.
We visited the sorting shed where Wendy showed us (and had some very keen helpers) to sort recycling into the appropriate fadges and cages. Sonya then showed us how a fadge is compacted - 35 fadges to make one bale of plastic to be sent off for recycling.
Chloe had spot prizes for answering questions correctly and we learned something amazing - 11 KYC members weigh 764kg!
So what did we learn from all of this?
We can do our bit by recycling correctly at home. This means WASHING the recyclables (especially meat trays!) Putting recycling out in the correct bins is really helpful and making sure that if we drop recycling off at the yard that we sort it properly. The biggest change we can make? INFLUENCE what our whanau purchase. Check out which products come in the least amount of packaging. An example is buy a big bag of chips and break it down into small re-useable containers in our lunches instead of buying minipacks of chips.
Thanks for IWK for the invite to see what you do and to see the challenges you face. We've got our thinking caps on to see what we can do to support this going forward.