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Source: Whangarei District Council

This page contains a youth report by Kyle Hanlon about presenting at Council.

Updated: 16/10/2019 12:00 a.m.

Like many people I am concerned about climate change, which is driven by pollution, and in Whangarei that means cars!!

As a result I would like to see more people riding bicycles, however I worry about bike security, especially in the town centre.

I wondered how I could voice my concerns and I found out about Council public meetings, so I applied to speak at the next meeting. 

To my surprise I was accepted to speak to the Mayor and Councillors, at age 13! I now had to prepare, but only had a few weeks until I had to speak.

As I was doing my research I found out that other councils around New Zealand had established bike pods/lockers where your bike can be securely stored.

If other councils have done this, why can’t we? I also was looking at websites of companies that manufacture bike pods which I printed to demonstrate the concept.

Once I finished preparing all I could do was practice, and practice I did. The night before the meeting I was told that I was the first one to speak- a little nerve-racking.

On the day of the speech I was “extremely sad” that I had to miss school. The meeting was at 10:30am sharp and I didn’t want to be late.

When I was called up all the nervousness and anticipation that built up to this moment came to a head; however as soon as the first words came out it all went away.

When I finished, to my surprise I was applauded, but I was told they usually don’t clap.

This speech has given me a great opportunity to voice my concerns and I urge others to do the same if you have a problem that the council can do something about.

Kyle presenting to council