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2020 Environment Canterbury Youth Rōpū (EYR) Member profiles

Meet the team

Mana Whenua

Erana Riddell, 21

Student, University of Canterbury

Three words that describe my values: Manaakitanga/caring, communication, open-mindedness.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Kaikōura.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Anything to do with water.

I want to be part of the conversation of change rather than merely hearing about it. I want to, through my experience, normalise open communication between youth and more knowledgeable people who are experts in certain levels of fields. By allowing me to get involved I can then take my knowledge base that I learn whilst taking part and address it to the wider communities that I am part of, diversifying opinions shared and explained.

North Canterbury / Ōpukepuke

Tessa Allan, 18

Student, University of Canterbury – Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology and Geography

Three words that describe my values: Family-orientated, diligence, optimism.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Hawarden (my hometown, a place for calmness and love).

If I could have a superpower, it would be: Shapeshifter, because I could adapt to any environment I am in and enhance specific features when doing activities.

I am passionate about connecting youth with the environment and each other and have been since I joined the Hurunui Youth Council (HYC) in 2018. In 2019 I was the Emergency Service Representative for HYC and attended Environment Canterbury Youth Meetups where I was able to share my passion with other like-minded youth, which really stimulated my interest and community engagement. In 2020 I have really missed engaging with youth and the environment, so to find an opportunity like this is exciting.

EYR Deputy Chairperson

Ruby Gill-Clifford, 16

Student, Rangiora High School

Three words that describe my values: Kindness, connections, respect.

Favourite place in Canterbury: 'The rocks'- north of Amberley beach.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Shapeshifting – you can magically turn into someone with any superpower whatsoever!

Like I'm sure most people involved in this group, the environment is at the centre of the things that I care about. So naturally, things like the climate emergency, water conservation and protection, and protection and nurturing of biodiversity are things that I am passionate about and continue to learn about as much as I can. I also think it is vital that (especially young people) are educated on how the NZ government works, why and how to vote, to make a difference!

Mid Canterbury

Maria Mendoza Nieto, 18

University of Canterbury – Engineering

Three words that describe my values: Kindness is strength.

If I could have a super power, it would be: To process information faster.

I've been incredibly passionate about the environment and doing my part to look after it for a long time. I've seen the power of groups that go out and run events, clean up and are part of educating others, but I've also seen how formal groups that deal with legislation, policies and the bureaucracy can also make a huge difference.

Charlotte Muir, 19

Student, University of Canterbury

Three words that describe my values: Compassion, sustainability, open-mindedness.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Hakatere Huts.

If I could have a super power, it would be: To be able to dissolve plastic.

I’d like to be able to put my own efforts of being a kaitiaki/guardian into more tangible and active mahi/work, especially within a like-minded group that shares my passion for the environment. I want to grow as a leader through working with other youth, and see our communities and environment prosper as a result.

South Canterbury / Ōtuhituhi

Bailey Lissington, 18

Student, University of Canterbury

Three words that describe my values: Empathy, education, initiative.

Favourite place in Canterbury: I have several favourite tramping tracks, including Mount Nimrod, Mount Somers, and Camp Stream Hut.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Super-intelligence, so that I could face the large-scale problems in ways that haven’t been considered before.

There are several issues which I keep a close eye on. One of these issues is the emission of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. The apparent lack of political urge to reduce these emissions frustrates me, as it is not the direction our nation should be heading.

Emma Subtil, 22

Employed, The New Zealand Merino Company

Three words that describe my values: Integrity, respect and compassion.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Lake Benmore.

If I could have a super power, it would be: The ability to turn into any animal.

I feel very privileged to have lived in Canterbury my whole life and having grown up in one of New Zealand's most iconic environments, the Mackenzie Basin. I want to do whatever I can to help protect our precious and fragile environments across the region. I am interested in becoming involved with the Environment Canterbury Youth Rōpu because I believe that if you are not apart of the conversation, then how can you influence what happens. The idea of getting young people together really appeals to me because the earlier we can learn about the work that Environment Canterbury are doing, the more we can help work together to achieve the collective goals.

Christchurch North East / Ōrei

Jazmynn Hodder-Swain, 22

Student, Lincoln University

Three words that describe my values: Compassionate, innovative, respectful.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Camp Bay because it is mind-blowingly beautiful.

If I could have a super power, it would be: To wiggle my fingers and be able to gift people with the ability and opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes for the day (with consent of course).

Having youth voice gives ECan insight into the concerns of future generations and can allow ECan to take some steps in improving those concerns. I am currently studying a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning, and have a great passion for learning New Zealand history, particularly Maori history, the values of our society and how we plan for our future from a national to a local level.

Marcella Pitt, 21

Student, University of Canterbury – Forestry

Three words that describe my values: Passionate, hardworking and outgoing.

Favourite place in Canterbury: The Botanical Gardens.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Shape-shifting!

I'm interested in having a say on the future opportunities for the Canterbury Region environmentally. I am currently in my third year of studying towards a bachelor’s degree in forestry science. I believe forestry and trees offer so many positive benefits to the environment and having a good understanding of trees and their effects on local ecosystems is important, especially for water quality, soil quality and erosion control.

Christchurch West / Ōpuna

EYR Secretary

William Wray, 16

Student, Burnside High School

Three words that describe my values: Integrity, empathy and resilience.

Favourite place in Canterbury: North Hagley Park.

If I could have a super power, it would be: To be in multiple places at once.

This opportunity represents a chance to benefit the wider Canterbury community, youth and our environment by utilising some of the skills I've developed and applying them to an environmental context. This is the primary reason why I'd like to be involved; for years I've benefited from the community programs put on by ECan and other local government bodies. Recently, as I've grown older and developed new skills, I've spent a lot of time finding ways to give back to the communities that have helped me so much. I also really enjoy getting to work in team environments and develop collaborative solutions, another reason I'm keen to be a part of Youth Rōpū. Youth representation is something that we see a lot more of now and I love to be involved with, another reason why I am interested in being a part of EYR. I see this as a fantastic opportunity to do all of these things, hence why I am interested in being involved.

Georgina Fee, 19

Student, University of Canterbury

Three words that describe my values: Faith, community and kindness.

Fave place in Canterbury: Riccarton Bush / Pūtaringamotu.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Teleportation.

I am passionate about youth voice in our changing world. Our generation is not the future generation but the current generation and we need to be involved in decision making. My home is in Canterbury and I am concerned about how we use and look after our natural resources. I have been involved in the EYR working group because I really believe that we can create positive change.

Christchurch Central / Ōhoko

Kisania Shingleton, 17

Student, Papanui High School

Three words that describe my values: Respect, culture, integrity.

Favourite place in Canterbury: My church because I am able to connect with God and my culture. While being around good minded people. This is a place where I feel good and inspired to strive for goals. Also because I love to sing :)

If I could have a super power, it would be: To fly because I love travelling the world and seeing different types of cultures.

I am interested (in being involved) because I like to help out in the environment and work with others. I want to voice not just mine but other people’s opinions.

EYR Chairperson

Oscar Bloom, 16

Student, St Andrews College

Three words that describe my values: Compassionate, integrity, idealism.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Governors and Charteris Bay area.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Flight.

I'm interested in being involved in the Ecan Youth Rōpū because of the power I believe it gives to youth to make change and help influence opinion. I really like that it acts as a liaison between council and the wider youth and it seems like the kind of organisation that will do as they say not just stand stagnant. I also want to be involved because of my passion for the environment and its continued sustainability. The streams we swim in, mountains we trek, forests we camp in are all so important to the Kiwi way of life. If they deteriorate and if our environmental practices continue the way they are generations in the future will experience a radically different environment to the one we have today. I want to be involved to help influence decision makers to make the choice that helps us in the future to sustain our environment, not just ones that solve issues now.

Christchurch South / Ōwhanga

Jessie Fahey, 20

Student, University of Canterbury

Three words that describe my values: Honesty, mindfulness and curiosity.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Port Hills – also known as Ngā Kohatu Whakarekareka o Tamatea Pōkai Whenua, meaning, the soldering boulders of Tamatea Pōkai Whenua.

If I could have a super power, it would be: Superhuman endurance!

After coming along to the recent ECan youth meet up and hearing more about the Youth Rōpū, I had a strong interest in contributing more of my time, voice and ideas to this space. It was very enlightening to hold conversation with many like-minded young people. I see and hear a tremendous amount of discord between other individuals my age and the decision-makers or older generation of Christchurch. By discord I mean disagreement; about the state or our water, what public spaces are being created and how resources are used. I believe this comes from misunderstanding on both sides of the story, and I see the Youth Rōpū as a way for me to help form a strong and positive relationship between my generation and the current leaders of the region who have the final say in environmental decisions. I feel a deep sense of care for Christchurch city and the Canterbury region. As someone who has grown into a young adult parallel to Canterbury’s come-back from the damaged earthquake scene, I hold a feeling of pride surrounding our new beginnings and the progress we have made physically and as identity-builders. I endeavour to impart this feeling to others, in all communities, because the soul of our region is a special and unique entity worth preserving. I am invested in physical volunteering, growing my leadership capabilities, supporting other young people by giving them a voice and furthering my connection to the environment and Canterbury as a whole. After all, what happens today will create the region that my generation will come to inherit.

Charlotte Doogue, 17

Student, Cashmere High School

Three words that describe my values: Kaitiakitanga/stewardship, community, balance.

Favourite place in Canterbury: Te Ara Pātaka - the Banks Peninsula trail stretching from Hilltop in the Akaroa crater to Kaituna valley in the Lyttelton crater.

If I could have a super power, it would be: I would love to be able to fly.

My whānau/family has raised me to value our great kiwi backyard for all it provides for us physically, spiritually and culturally. As a young person growing up in Aotearoa, I see my role in relation to the natural environment as a kaitiaki. I do my best to protect and give back to the environment that provides so much for me so that future generations have the same opportunities, sustainable resources and beautiful places to enjoy.