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Proud to be a young local

This page contains a news story about Ihipera Keefe being a proud young local and her experience on the Youth Advisory Group.
Updated: 30/01/2020 9:52 a.m.

Photo of Ihipera Keefe.

Youth Advisory Group member Ihipera Keefe knows what it means to be a
proud young local and is about to head off to America.


What does "being proud to be local" look and feel like? Is this something we should expect to see more of in 2020 from our young people?

Being local feels positive, according to Ihipera Keefe,a young woman that is going places, quite literally!

After grabbing local opportunities with two hands, Ihipera is heading to America; taking with her all that she's learnt while living in Whangārei.

From completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at local tertiary provider Northtec to serving a year on Council's dedicated Youth Advisory Group and working an internship for us at Whangarei District Council, Ihipera has certainly made the most of Northland!

As we gear up for another Youth Advisory Group recruitment drive, it seemed fitting to catch-up with Ihipera at her exhibition "Is this thing on?" in the Geoff Wilson Gallery at Northtec.

She tells us what she's been up to, her experience on the Youth Advisory Group and shares her advice for other young people considering taking up local leadership opportunities!

"For the past three years I've been at Northtec working towards my degree, but everything's done now and at the moment I'm feeling pretty stress free. The exhibition is up which is based on a whole year of research by me and my classmates. It is a collaboration of all of our work and I think it's a really big accomplishment.

When I've finished study I'm going to America. I want to be produce my own Manga (a Japanese style of comic), so I"m going to see how that goes. I'm also thinking about doing post-grad studies part-time.

My experience in the Youth Advisory Group was really good. To start learning about what the Council does when you're young, you only get better at it as you go on. Being a part of decision making that affects young people and looking at designs and plans that are going to implemented, is really important.

One of the biggest challenges for me was being faced with varying opinions because I'm a very say-it-how it is type person and YAG a great learning experience on how to deal with those situations. I think you've got to be challenging, but you don't leave the room feeling mad because it's a safe space to talk.

My Advice to youth that want to apply is just do it! I don't think that there are enough young people represented in Council.

You're taking part in something that is greater than yourself and it's a position where you could maybe influence decisions made in the Council.

You're putting a foundation in the ground that other young people are going to build on.

Just go for it!" says, Ihipera.

The Youth Advisory Group is now open for applications from young people aged 16-24.

Get in touch to find out more or follow the link below:



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