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Source: Auckland Council

Young people are making their voices heard as part of consultation into the Papakura Local Board’s Plan.

Contributions to the board’s Have Your Say page jumped after those at Papakura Youth Festival were asked what they would do to improve their town if they had money to spend.

About 50 people sent in an idea, a result that didn’t surprise chair Brent Catchpole.

“Our population is quite young, so we put a lot of effort into encouraging younger people to have an input into the decisions that shape their town.

“That means we have had to create ways to engage that younger people are comfortable with, so our online feedback page has been ideal.”

The suggestions on the page show younger people take a wide social view of their community, voicing concerns about employment, the environment, educational opportunities and the need for more youth spaces and events.

But they also reflect common concerns, calling for more residential parking, better lighting on walkways, and continued commitments to libraries and pools.

The board also used its Movies in Parks screening of The Lion King to encourage people to be heard. “It’s all about going to where the people are and making it easy to contribute,” Catchpole says. Few things are easier than having a conversation.”

And a panel discussion at Papakura Marae on Wednesday 18 March will see elected members, mana whenua and Māori community leaders, in partnership with Radio Waatea, discuss aspirations for Māori communities.

“This board was sworn in on Papakura Marae and challenged to improve engagement and show leadership by interacting with the Māori community, and Radio Waatea have been willing participants in that.”

Catchpole says everyone is welcome to bring their questions, feedback and comments on Auckland Council’s Annual Budget, the review of Council Controlled Organisations, and local board plans.

A mihi whakatau takes place at 5pm, followed by live panel discussion at 6pm.

You can submit your own ideas online until 28 March here.