Today’s event marks the launch of the Youth Action plan, a document that is the result of young people engaging with young people about what they want and how we might achieve that together.
Community engagement lies at the heart of this plan, and I would like to acknowledge all those who have already put a significant amount of work into developing this approach. The Christchurch Youth Council has put in a tremendous amount of work and been a key player in seeing this plan created, and will also look to be caretaker of the plan moving forward.
The CYC are also developing a way to monitor progress and develop mechanisms to report back to young people throughout the city. This emphasis on meaningful feedback loops and constant engagement with young people will ensure that the voice of young people is heard. The great thing about this Action Plan is that it can be refreshed every year so it can stay relevant to young people and to the city as a whole.
I want to take this opportunity to make an important announcement. As part of the Christchurch City Council’s review into Community Grants Funding, it was proposed that a contestable Youth Initiatives Fund be established to replace a Youth Ideas Fund that simply hadn’t got off the ground. This will get off the ground because you will a real say in running it.
The Fund will provide $50,000 of contestable funding in its first year to support projects that will provide direct benefits to young people in Christchurch. It is intended that the fund will be managed in a partnership between youth organisations and Council.
The youth organisations will agree on the criteria, framework and decision-making process for the allocations of funds, and the Council will administer the payments.
The Youth Initiative Fund will enable young people to decide for themselves where funding is best allocated, and empower them to determine their own priorities and desired outcomes, thus reiterating the aims and goals of the Youth action plan itself. I am so pleased to be able to announce such a meaningful contribution towards those goals.
This Action Plan is a great demonstration of how, if we actually take the time to ask, our young people will engage with civic issues.
Issues like transport, the environment, youth representation and a sense of belonging are recognised in the report as important issues facing the city. This shared learning approach which is embedded in the Youth action plan enables everyone to contribute to the development and regeneration of our ever-evolving city, which at its heart must be inclusive if it aspires to be dynamic.
While this report goes a long way to welcoming young people to the decision-making table, we need to ensure that this is an ongoing and constructive dialogue.
Thank you once again to all those involved for all your hard work and perseverance on a very important goal of active representation and engagement for the young people of Christchurch.