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Consulting the next generation of rate payers

The student voice is an important part to the Long-term Plan consultation as many of today’s students, will in a few years be rate payers.  Mayor Worboys and Councillor Blackmore attended FAHS to hear from the rate payers of tomorrow.

The Manawatu District Council’s Long-term Plan is currently out for consultation as it looks to map the projects council will focus on and how the budget will be allocated for the next 10 years.  While the plan is reviewed every 3 years, the rate payers of tomorrow will include a student demographic that at this stage are still learning and discovering about local democracy.  Their voice is an important piece to the consultation as many of today’s students, in a few years, will be rate payers.

Mayor Helen Worboys and Councillor Lara Blackmore attended Feilding Agricultural High School (FAHS) on Tuesday where they spoke with FAHS Student Council.  With approximately 50 members including heads of committees and house captains, the role immerses students in their own level of governance and democracy.  Having an understanding for the responsibilities of councils, how decisions are made around the council table and the importance of contributing to Manawatū District Council’s Long-term Plan consultation was at the forefront of the presentation before the floor opened for questions.

“The questions asked, and conversations shared demonstrated the high level of understanding and interest that the students have for some of the consultation issues,” Worboys says. “By show of hands, it was evident that the member of the Student Council largely lived rurally but had a strong interest in the CBD parking with lots of questions asked.”

Mayor Helen stressed that while Elected Members consider facts, figures, and submissions before casting their vote, often the public is more eager to share a negative view then a positive one.  “Positive submissions are just as important to ensure that what you like about council services are maintained and further developed so, please share the good along with the things you would like to see change.”

The Long-term Plan consultation period is open until April 27.  With upcoming events this weekend in both the northern and southern areas of the district, and the Feilding Farmers Market on the 19th, there are still lots of opportunities to speak to Elected Members, learn more and to submit your feedback on Manawatū District Council’s Long-term Plan.

For more visit : What Matters Manawatū? | Make your mark Manawatū (