Frequently Asked Questions

What do y’all actually do?

The most visible thing we do are our events. We hold around two dozen events yearly for the over 20,000 young people (18-24 year olds) who live within the Howick Local Board’s subdivisions. From our election forums to jump jam to tree planting to visual art displays, the scope of our projects are wide ranging in order to cater for the wide ranging needs of young people in east Auckland. The key underlying vision behind all our projects are three core goals: Represent, Develop, Connect. ​

  1. That the Howick Youth Council represents youth voices in initiating changes in our community.
  2. That the Howick Youth Council facilitates opportunities for all youth in the community to develop.
  3. That the Howick Youth Council creates connections in our diverse community.
We aim to connect youth with their peers and help them develop as individuals — as well as creating a connection between the young people of east Auckland and the wider community. The flipside of that is our youth representation and work in youth advocacy. Using our unique ability to connect to young people, we hold events like the Howick Youth Summit where we explore wider societal issues and how they connect to young people. An example of our advocacy work can be seen in our consultation of east Auckland's views about the AMETI transport project which we presented to the Auckland Council’s Governing Body and Auckland Transport. Learn more about what we do through a copy of our Annual Review, available to read at the link here: howickyouthcouncil.org.nz/resources

Are you a lobby group?

We don’t like debating terms to describe ourselves, but we don't actively lobby on issues, paticularly those with significant political overtones. This is because we believe we can more effectively advocate on behalf of youth through collecting the views of our peers and working internally with our connections in the local community.

Our advocacy priority is to ensure there are clear lines of communication and consultation between youth and decisionmakers. Because of that, we do not consider ourselves a lobby group.

Why is it worth funding youth councils?

Up and down the motu, HYC is one of the largest and most successful youth councils in New Zealand. In 2019, we ran 21 projects and events with well over 2000 engagements with young people in the Howick Local Board area. Youth bring new energy and ideas to issues and concerns, often with a unique perspective. Organisations like the Howick Youth Council help bring light to these concerns while creating a way to reach out and connect with a demographic that can often be under catered for in communities. For example in 2019, our inaugural East Auckland Youth Awards celebrated youth achievements in a localised nature, that had never been done before in the east Auckland area. Or in the same year, our local election candidate forums were the only held in the Howick Local Board area, and allowed young voters to compare and contrast candidates.

How are you able to do all of this stuff?

We are conditionally funded in an arrangement with the Howick Local Board, and with oversight and assistance from the Auckland Council's Community Empowerment unit. Within the group, the HYC structure is unique and comprised of several semi-autonomous teams (five to be precise) supported by a leadership and communications team. We create a yearly work programme with events and projects assigned to teams. This programme is then reviewed by the Howick Local Board.

How do I become a member of the youth council?

We hold open seat and school seat recruitment towards the end of the school year for young people who live in one of the Howick Local Board's subdivisions. In the unusual circumstance of a midterm vacancy on the council, we may possibly announce applications on our social media channels.

I want to work with you on a project. Where do I start?

Great, we'd love to recieve support from other groups or specialists who believe they can contribute to our work programme. You can get in contact with us by emailing us at howickyouthcouncil@gmail.com or by using the contact form here: howickyouthcouncil.org.nz/contact

I'm a journalist. Who do I talk to?

The Howick Youth Council's Communications Team addresses all media enquiries on behalf of the youth council. We can address questions about our projects and events, as well as provide youth perspectives on issues. Contact us at howickyouthcouncil@gmail.com, through our contact form at howickyouthcouncil.org.nz/contact.

When did the youth council start?

The inaugural meeting of what was initially termed the "Howick Local Board Youth Council" was held on August 4th 2011. If you're alumni of the youth council, join our Facebook group here: facebook.com/groups/3349178911821858/