Governing principles for youth council operations.

Selwyn Youth Council Terms of Reference

1.            Purpose

The purpose of the Selwyn Youth Council is to:

  • Assist and advise the Selwyn District Council on issues covered by council, as well as issues relating directly to youth and how these can best be met;
  • Build young people’s knowledge of local body processes to enable them to participate in council decision making;
  • Develop the capabilities of its members (including leadership and engaging wider youth); and
  • To increase the councils understanding of young people’s perspectives and needs

2.            Advisory Role

The Selwyn Youth Council will:

  • Advise on youth involvement in planning and development of council services and programs;
  • Advise on how views of youth can be canvassed and conveyed to council (including providing advice on formal consultations being undertaken);
  • Advise the council on matters of planning and infrastructure (especially if they have a direct impact on young people);
  • Advise on matters relating to policy and strategic development; and
  • Advise and provide governance support to any sub-committees or outside groups that develop events and other initiatives

3.            Responsibilities

3.1 Selwyn Youth Council members are required to:

  • Attend youth council meetings;
  • Attend training and project meetings as required;
  • Bring youth issues and opportunities to the youth council;
  • Represent or find youth representation on external committee if applicable;
  • Share youth council information with their networks;
  • Network with other New Zealand youth councils as appropriate;
  • Assist the district council to canvass youth views; and
  • Manage with support from the district council a budget allocated for running and training costs

3.2 In return for their commitment, the district council will provide members with:

  • Training to fulfil their role as a youth council member, including leadership training;
  • Opportunities to be a youth representative on various working parties or project teams;
  • Meeting space;
  • Specialised training for the roles of Chair, Deputy Chair, Treasurer and Secretary;
  • Support for above roles and operation running of the youth council;
  • Training on and exposure to the local government political system;
  • A yearly budget of $8,000 for training and operating costs;
  • A yearly budget of $5,000 for the Selwyn Youth Project Fund;
  • Support and advice on promotion and communications; and
  • Formally recognising the youth council’s achievements

4.            Membership

The youth council will include up to 13 members. Role description for members are included in the Standing Orders.

4.1 Criteria for membership:

Members need to:

  • Be between 12 – 24 years old at the start of the term;
  • Live within the boundaries of the Selwyn district;
  • Be available to attend monthly meetings; and
  • Have the ability to work with other people and as part of a team

It is expected that youth council membership will provide a broad representation of the Selwyn district youth population, with consideration given to:

  • An appropriate balance relating to gender, geography, age, ethnicity and skills; and
  • Priorities one membership reserved for Maori representation.

The youth council membership will represent the four Selwyn district wards as follows, this is to be reviewed as new population data becomes available:

  • Selwyn Central Ward – four (4) youth council members
  • Springs Ward – four (4) youth council members
  • Malvern Ward – two (2) youth council members
  • Ellesmere Ward – two (2) youth council members

Inclusive of the 13 members the youth council will also have:

  • One elected member representative appointed by the Mayor

In addition to the 13 members the youth council will also have:

  • One youth liaison appointed by the Selwyn District Council to oversee the operation of the youth council.

The above position is an advisory role only and as such does not hold any voting rights and does not form part of the youth council quorum.

4.2 Office Bearers

Members of the youth council will elect a Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer on an annual basis. The positions will be held for a maximum of two years. In the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair will run the meeting.

4.3 Removal of members

If a youth council member misses more than three consecutive meetings without apology, their membership on the youth council will cease. In the event of gross misconduct the Selwyn District Council may require the youth council member to leave the youth council.

5.            Call for nomination and term of appointment

Nominations for membership to the Selwyn Youth Council will be called for every two (2) years with all 12 positions available. Membership of the incoming youth council will be formalised by January. The standard term of appointment will be two years, and existing youth council members will be eligible for re-appointment. Should a youth council member need to resign, an appropriate replacement member can be co-opted in when the remaining term is longer than six (6) months.

6.            Selwyn Youth Council nomination and selection process

Call for expressions of interest from 14 – 24 year olds from within the district’s boundaries will go out via a number of different media channels (social media, newspapers, approached to schools and or tertiary education organisations, youth groups, the district council website etc.). Youth interested in being a youth council member are required to complete an online application form.

Upon the closure of applications, all nominations will be considered by the Selection Committee who shall consist of three (3) members:

  • The Mayor and or an elected member of council;
  • The Chair or Deputy Chair of the existing youth council, unless a conflict of interest occurs; and
  • An appointed representative from the Selwyn District Council.

7.            Frequency of and attendance at meetings

The youth council will meet up to 11 times per year between the months of February and December. Youth council members are expected to attend all meetings or a minimum of 75% (8) of the scheduled meetings. If a youth council member fails to meet this commitment, their membership of the youth council may cease.

8.            Conflicts of interest and resolution

Youth council members must declare any conflicts of interest and should conflict occur, the youth council will work with council officers to resolve the conflict. A conflict of interest must be recorded in the meeting minutes.

9.            Quorum

The quorum for the meeting will be half the committee present if the number of members is even or a majority if the number of members is an odd number.

10.         Funding

The Selwyn District Council will allocate $8,000 per annum to the operation of the youth council. These funds cannot be used for funding activities of other groups or activities. These funds will be managed by the Selwyn Youth Council and held and overseen by the Selwyn District Council and reported on by the youth council Treasurer.

In addition, the Selwyn District Council will allocate $5,000 per annum to the Selwyn Youth Project Fund. The fund is to support groups and individuals whose projects, events or activities contribute to the strengthening of youth wellbeing in Selwyn.

11.         Meeting Procedures

Meetings will be run in line with Standing Orders.

12.         Minutes and agendas

All minutes and agendas are to be supplied to the district council who will make them available on the Selwyn District Council’s website. Agenda items must be presented to the Chair five days before the meeting.

13.         Reporting

The youth council will report to the district council twice a year in July and December. The report will outline work undertaken, attendance and number of meetings held, the youth council’s achievements and any issues or initiatives it wishes to district council to consider further.

14.         Review

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed at the beginning of each term by the incoming youth council. All changes of the Terms of Reference will be in collaboration with the appropriate district council representative.