A recruitment drive has begun to find the 2012 Hastings Youth Council but a former youth councillor, now working in Wellington as a lawyer, is calling for more young people to stand for Hastings District Council instead at next year's election.
Former Lindisfarne College pupil Jordan Williams joined the Hastings Youth Council in 2002 to campaign for a youth centre and to support initiatives to reduce graffiti crime.
While being part of the youth council "was cool", Mr Williams questioned its real value to the community and the young people it represented.
"What I would say is that young people should focus on local government councils or committees of councils instead, that's where you have to be if you really want to make effective change," Mr Williams said.
"Jami-Lee Ross is the best example of someone young who has a genuine influence in politics. He was elected on to the Manukau City Council at the age of 18 and was then elected to Parliament[last year]," he said.
Mr Williams was in Hawke's Bay last year as a spokesman for the Vote For Change campaign when a referendum was held asking people if they wanted to keep MMP or switch to another system.
He said he was aware of the work by Flaxmere's Jacoby Poulain, who at the age of 26 was one of the youngest candidates elected to the Hastings District Council, in 2010.
"She should be held up as an example but the risk is young people get marginalised with youth issues, which is a downside of the job," he said.
Cr Poulain's portfolio included the youth council which will hold its first meeting on Wednesday.
The council wants to find better ways to connect with young people. Preliminary results of a survey for its youth strategy showed young people were bored, felt they did not have any activities to enjoy, there was poor public transport and no "real university" to pursue career options.
Cr Poulain said the new youth council would be encouraged to present reports of its monthly meetings in person to the district council.
"What we are also looking to do is hold one or two sessions where we get the youth council and the full council together to learn from one another through introductions and discussions about youth matters in our district," she said.
Candidates for the youth council must be Year 11 to Year 13 pupils who live or attend school in the Hastings district.
For more information contact Paddy Steffert at firstname.lastname@example.org.