Celebrating the Youth Rōpū’s 2020 success

Environment Canterbury’s Youth Rōpū had great success in 2020 with projects undertaken to ensure that the voices of young people are heard at Environment Canterbury as well as increasing connections and engagement with more youth across the Waitaha region.

Bringing the youth voice to the table

Providing feedback on the Annual Plan

The Youth Rōpū provided feedback to Environment Canterbury about its proposed Annual Plan at the beginning of 2020.

Within this feedback they discussed issues that matter to youth including climate change, collaboration, mahinga kai, regenerative approaches, and youth representation.

They presented their feedback at Environment Canterbury’s hearings on the Annual Plan.

Council listened to the feedback, and as a result amended the Annual Plan to reflect their visions and values within Canterbury.

This was the first time the Youth Rōpū had engaged with a local government plan and the process undertaken to gauge opinions was smooth. Consensus on priority areas was reached through extensive conversation, with thoughtful writing bringing these opinions together.

- Oscar Bloom, Chair, Youth Rōpū

Find out more about the Annual Plan.

Representation on Water Zone Committees

The Youth Rōpū made a commitment to get youth representation on their local Water Zone Committees, which through extensive work has now been achieved.

Overall, the reception of the project and the new youth representatives has been extremely positive.

Find out more about the 10 Water Zone Committees in Canterbury.

Meeting with Councillors

The Youth Rōpū set up a liaison group to engage with Council throughout the year.

This group consisted of seven Councillors, who met with Youth Rōpū members each month.

These meetings allowed for Council to easily consult the Youth Rōpū on topical issues and as such, the meetings have provided a key platform for building a two-way relationship between the Youth Rōpū and Council.

Find out more about our Councillors and our Tumu Taiao – Mana Whenua experts.

Meeting with Environment Canterbury staff

Amongst other meetings and consultations throughout the year, the Youth Rōpū met with climate change strategy and communications staff to provide advice for ensuring that youth audiences are met in an upcoming campaign.

These meetings have helped to form connections with staff, upskill Youth Rōpū members, and ensure that the perspectives of young people are heard throughout Environment Canterbury at an operational level.

Learn more about the Chief Executive and Directors.

Connecting with young people

A major priority was to make more Canterbury wide connections. This hard work will set us up better in the future to be able to hear from an even wider range of youth voices, reinforcing our position as kaitiaki (guardians) of the environment in Canterbury.

- Oscar Bloom, Chair, Youth Rōpū

Partnerships hui

The Youth Rōpū held a partnerships hui to meet with other youth-led groups across Canterbury and discuss how they could better collaborate to reach common goals.

Youth meetups

Building on an already successful meeting, the Youth Rōpū continued to run monthly youth meetups and expanded their reach by running them in Timaru and online, in addition to Christchurch.

These relaxed sessions provide an important channel for the Youth Rōpū to hear the perspectives of a wide range of young people, which is then reflected back into their work.

Youth meetups are every six weeks in Christchurch, and monthly in Timaru. Find out the next dates via the Youth Engagement Facebook page or the Youth Rōpū Instagram account.

What’s next?

Consultation on the draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31

The Youth Rōpū’s focus for the beginning of 2021 has been engaging with the draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31.

During the consultation period they held workshops to enable young people to make informed comments on the changes proposed by the draft Long-Term Plan Consultation Document.

That process resulted in a well thought out submission from the Youth Rōpū that represents the diverse voice of young people in our region.

Learn more about the draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31.

Growing connections

The Rōpū expects to continue to expand its meaningful relationships with key groups within Environment Canterbury as well as external groups, using these connections to uplift youth voices and connect young people with decision makers.

Find out more

The Youth Rōpū meet every week online and once a month face-to-face.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Youth Rōpū, you can read the full 2020 update, find out more about our Youth Rōpū, connect on Instagram, read the profiles of the 2020 Youth Rōpū or get in touch via email.