As always, the recent 2017 general election campaign gave rise to a chorus of comments on the lack of political interest amongst younger people, a malaise diagnosed as arising in large part from a feeling in many individuals that their vote cannot make a difference. Even as a pupil at secondary school she was passionately engaged in projects to raise political awareness amongst her classmates, talking to them individually and in groups, explaining the importance of the democratic process and encouraging those who were turning eighteen to enrol.
Now a full-time University student, she continues her crusade as co-chair of the Christchurch Youth Council, supporting and mentoring others, empowering them to engage with local and central government processes, to engage with decision-making, and to realise that they can shape the City and country in which they live.
Through her work with the Youth Community Voices project she encourages young people to form groups within their Wards, and to work with Community Boards and with the City Council to ensure that young people are represented, and their voices are heard. Her outreach encourages her peers to engage in active citizenship that they may lead more fulfilled lives.
Photographer: Neil Macbeth