Youth Rōpū

Our Youth Rōpū is a body of people aged 14-24 who are enthusiastic about the environment, civics and empowering young people across Canterbury/Waitaha.

Made up of up to 20 members, the Youth Rōpū was formed to facilitate a two-way relationship between young people and decision-makers in Waitaha.

With the support of the Youth Engagement and Education team, the Youth Rōpū gives young people in the Waitaha region an opportunity to promote the issues they care about.

Meet the current Youth Rōpū members.

Our priorities

The Youth Rōpū has two priorities; to ensure that the voices of young people are heard by decision-makers and staff at Environment Canterbury and to engage youth across Waitaha with their regional council.

To do this the Rōpū takes part in multiple initiatives and projects including:

  • Providing advice to Council.
  • Running youth meetups in Christchurch for Highschool Enviro Groups.
  • Advocating for youth members to be added as community members to Canterbury Water Zone Committees and separate Council committees.
  • Developing relationships with other youth organisations in Waitaha.
  • Running various other events across Waitaha.

Latest achievements



  • Successful advocacy for the appointment of two youth representatives to the Regional Leadership, Climate, and Community Resilience Committee.
  • Development of a fair and robust appointment process for youth representatives.
  • Discussions on obtaining updates from youth representatives on different Environment Canterbury boards.

Mana whenua

  • Closer connection with Environment Canterbury Tuia Team and regional councillors.
  • Organisation of a Te Tiriti o Waitangi Workshop, providing insights and understanding of Aotearoa's history.
  • Implementation of a new mana whenua Co-Chair model and expansion of available positions for greater diversity.
  • Noho at Rehua Marae, welcoming new members and reflecting on the year.

Public transport and engagement

  • Submissions on topics like the Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan and lowering the voting age.
  • Enviro Leaders Network Hui as a replacement for Youth Meetups, focusing on collaboration between schools.
  • Our Future Canterbury: Youth Event co-organised to gather youth opinions on the Regional Policy Statement.
  • Creation of the radio show 'Fix it Up Waitaha' and discussions with Public Transport staff for a new Youth Reference Group.

Presenting opportunities

  • Enviroschools annual celebration, reconnecting with the programme.
  • Speaking 4 the Planet Competition, showcasing young people's passion for environmental issues.
  • Reconnection with Youth Voice Canterbury Network, facilitating connections between youth councils across Canterbury.
  • Hosting workshops with Kaikōura Youth Council, Christchurch Youth Council, Selwyn Youth Council, and Grey District Council.
  • The Youth Rōpū attended the Festival for the Future, connecting with diverse kaupapa and forging youth council bonds.

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