CYC's Jess McLennan, Emma Hartshaw, Azaria Howell and a few other young people discuss youth issues with mayor Lianne Dalziel and councillor Aaron Keown at the 2016 Youth Action Plan event.
CYC's Kendra Burgess-Naude MCing a discussion with Simon Britten, Emma Norrish and George Patena at our 2017 East Side Youth Focus.
WHO ARE WE?
The Christchurch Youth Council (Rūnaka Taiohi o Ōtautahi) is dedicated to advocating for a strong youth voice in Christchurch. We aim to provide young people with the avenue to have their say. We aim to create a community where the youth voice is as valued as all others in the community. Imagine every big conversation about Christchurch's future having a young person around the table: that's our dream!
1) Advocate, support and strive for a stronger voice for young people. 2) Engage and promote the ideas of active citizenship and participation in order to encourage young people to contribute to their communities. 3) Create space and a positive environment to allow young people to speak about, and be involved with issues affecting them. 4) Foster networks and build relationships with decision makers in order to influence change for young people.
WHAT'S OUR STORY?
The Christchurch Youth Council (CYC) was founded in the 1990's, and was initially a subsidiary body underneath the Christchurch City Council. A few years later, the decision was made to shift it from the City Council, after which point the Youth Council found itself under a number of umbrella organisations. In 2014, we decided to become an independent organisation and became an incorporated society consisting of 16 members between 12 and 22. This independence gave us greater flexibility, enabling us to better represent the views of youth in Christchurch. Also in 2014 we hired a full-time employee, and acquired office space at Community House. This has greatly improved our connections with other organisations and increased the professionalism and legitimacy of the organisation. Moreover, it has enabled us to have a presence at more meetings, to organise better events and more of them, and generally to connect better with youth in the city and then make their voices heard.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
Provided submissions on important issues ranging from the Alcohol Reform Bill to the Christchurch City Council Plan. All submissions are based on the views of the youth of Christchurch.
Held several forums including: WESpeak 2009/10/11/12/13/14. These forums focus on identifying the needs of Christchurch youth. Moreover the council has held YouthQuake: A forum to canvas the needs of Youth in Christchurch following the September Earthquake. These forums provide information and direct future advocacy goals.
Attended the past two Youth in Local Government forums to further our networks.
Members of the council have attended Workshops and Consultancy forums for the New Zealand Drug Foundation.
Consulted for ActionWorks youth employment scheme.
Held many successful youth lead events, including a Street Market that over 1500 people attended.
Hosted debates on relevant topics concerning young people, including our 2014 Election Debate!
Provided part funding for an U18 Broods concert which went OFF in Chch. Nuff said!
Signed up to an Inter-Agency cross-sector group called Strengthening the Youth Sector.
Agreed upon a Memorandum of Understanding with Christchurch City Council - historic stuff!
Organised the first TEDxYouth event on the South Island!
Want more information on our past activities? Check out our resources page for annual reports and other useful information! There is so much more than we could fit on one page!