Youth Rōpū: reflections and new faces

Our Youth Rōpū had a big 2021 and have recently published their annual update, which reflects on their achievements over the last year. 

Some of the achievements included:

  • extensive youth engagement and submissions to Council on the Long-Term Plan,
  • providing perspectives on climate change to multiple groups and committees,
  • members being appointed to their local Water Zone Committees,
  • and meeting regularly with Councillors and staff from across Environment Canterbury to share youth perspectives. 

Reflections on last year's achievements

Outgoing Chair Oscar Bloom has reflected on what it has meant to be a part of Aotearoa’s first youth group of this nature.

“Precedents for many of the projects we embarked on did not exist and so we were tasked with creating new spaces and roles for young people, moving walls, and shaking up systems,” Oscar said.

The 18 year old leaves the incoming Rōpū with this advice:

“We all have a voice. Use it for others, use it for yourself,  and remember that no one can ever take it away.”

 Download the full 2021 Youth Rōpū Annual Update (PDF file, 1.83MB)

Introducing our new Youth Rōpū team

With many of the Youth Rōpū embarking on new adventures this year, we have had the opportunity to welcome new members from across the rohe.

The 2022 Youth Rōpū is currently made up of 13 passionate rangatahi aged 15-24 and will be led by newly elected Chair Colter Carson.

Colter Carson

Colter, who is a 24 year old University of Canterbury student and South Christchurch representative, is passionate about environmental issues and the way in which they correlate to social issues.

“I feel very motivated to use my energy, skills and knowledge to advocate that we do better for the environment as a society.”

Ruby Gill-Clifford and Tessa Allan

A founding member of the Youth Rōpū, 18 year old Ruby Gill-Clifford, has been elected as Deputy Chair, while another experienced member, 20 year old Tessa Allan will be Secretary in 2022.

Both Tessa and Ruby represent North Canterbury and are students at the University of Canterbury this year.

Ruby’s three years on the Rōpū so far have shown her what a difference the youth voice can make.

“I think the relationship the Rōpū has with the Council is a rare and crucial one, and one that is integral to the resilient and sustainable future of Canterbury,” Ruby said.

Alice Docking

Rounding out the executive team is Alice Docking, a 20 year old Lincoln University student, representing Christchurch South.

Alice has joined the Rōpū with a focus on helping people understand and have a say in the work that the regional council does.

“I’m particularly interested in working alongside the community to ensure legislative changes are appropriately interpreted. I believe to make an impact, understanding how the system works is influential to what you do.”

Focus for 2022

The first focus for the Youth Rōpū in 2022 is connecting young people across Waitaha with the Annual Plan proposal and we encourage you to have your say.

The Rōpū is especially keen for young people to share their views on proposed changes to public transport fares in greater Christchurch.

Join the Youth Rōpū

There are still opportunities for three young people to join the Youth Rōpū.

Please encourage any passionate 15-24 year olds in your networks to apply as soon as possible.

Former Chair Oscar Bloom

Youth Ropu Chair Colter Carson

Chair Colter Carson

Deputy Chair Ruby Gill-Clifford

Deputy Chair Ruby Gill-Clifford

Secretary Tessa Allan

Secretary Tessa Allan

Treasurer Alice Docking

Treasurer Alice Docking