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Island keen on youth board

DIANA WORTHY
Last updated 05:00 06/08/2014
Stella Andrews, 17 and Isla Treadwell
BIG PLANS: Stella Andrews, 17, left, and Isla Treadwell, 16, are among a group of young people full of ideas to make the island special through a youth board.

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Two teens full of ideas are involved in a project to make Waiheke more exciting for young people.

Stella Andrews, 17, and Isla Treadwell, 16, say a plan of action is now decided for a youth board to be founded before Christmas, subject to official approval.

They are among a dozen teenagers who met with Auckland Council community development facilitator Kristin Fanselow at Oneroa Bowling Club on July 27 to decide specifics.

Mata Roche, 15, who is Waiheke's representative on the Auckland Council Youth Advisory Panel, ran the meeting and organised workshop groups.

"It was Mata who inspired us to get involved," the two girls say.

Stella says the board won't just be looking at youth events - issues including more street lighting will also be on the agenda and of benefit to everyone.

"There are so many dark places on the island at night," she says. "I know someone who'd love to go for a run after school but they can't see where they're going."

Solar powered sensor lights that switch on when people walk by have already been suggested by the girls.

"And we could have affirmation messages to inspire people on lamp posts," Isla says.

The proposed youth board will include a core group of 13 people aged between 12 and 25.

But other young people will also be involved as casual members who don't have to make a regular commitment. Fanselow says applications will be opening soon.

The 13 are likely to be selected by a panel of three people - Fanselow, a member of the Waiheke Local Board and an independent young person from the mainland.

Prospective members will be interviewed as part of the process.

The foundation board will sit for six months before a review is held and a decision about its future is made.

Meetings will be monthly at the Oneroa Bowling Club and there are plans for a chill-out space elsewhere.

"It would be great to have a jukebox there," Isla says. "And we could organise events such as karaoke, a slam poetry night, and live music played by teenagers.

"Drugs and alcohol will be banned and events policed by adults."

Contact Auckland Council community development facilitator Kristin Fanselow on 021 827 894 for more information.

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