Keen to have voices of tomorrow heard today

Teenager to stand in local body elections.

Teenager to stand in local body elections.

Alice Kibble: The 18-year-old hopes her running for council will get more youth voting. Picture by Paul Rickard

Gisborne district youth councillor Alice Kibble is to make the step up and run for the council in this year’s local body elections.

Ms Kibble, 18, has announced her candidacy as Youth Week begins nationwide.

She could be the youngest person to have run for council but doesn’t see age as any barrier.

“We are blessed in Tairawhiti to have a strong group of rangitahi — young leaders — but how do we make sure the future we are creating is fit for them and is what they want to see,” she said.

As a teenager she identifies with the issues facing young people, including under-representation of youth and lack of civic engagement and education in schools.

She is also concerned about the environment, leaving youth to question ‘‘is there even going to be a future for us’’.

“Tairawhiti is known for its history, culture and sense of community. So how do we run with that and future-proof ourselves so that youth don’t have to face the same issues of today?

“The first port of call is to have someone under the age of 24 at the council table.”

At a GDC community services and development committee meeting, she heard councillors say more youth involvement was required, particularly with the Spatial Plan 2050.

“I was sitting there thinking, I could be that person.”

Youth voter turnout had been disappointing in the past and she hoped her candidacy would give young voters a new opportunity with a candidate in their age range — “someone who is relatable and understands the issues they face on a daily basis. I hope that by me running, more young people will vote in the upcoming election”.

She hopes her fresh and future-focused perspective will also attract voters over 24 who want to create a city accommodating to future generations.

“I am passionate about creating a region where not only do our youth want to stay here after high school, but make it a place that attracts people from out of our region — of all ages and abilities.

“Young people are always being told they are the voices of tomorrow. We hear it all too much when really we need to be the voices of today that are living tomorrow.”

This is the rationale behind her campaign slogan “Speaking the voices of Tomorrow, Today”.

Ms Kibble feels lucky to have grown up in a region where community involvement was encouraged.

Since the age of six she has been an active volunteer at organisations such as Hospice Tairawhiti, Gisborne-East Coast Cancer Society, Red Cross and Gisborne Volunteer Centre.

At a national level, she was in the Students against Dangerous Driving National Leadership Programme and through Commonwealth Youth New Zealand has attended the Student Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Parliament for the past two years.

Ms Kibble said she had received a lot of encouragement since deciding to run for the council.

She intends to show youth that local politics is an option and age is not a number representing how much life experience you have.

“I am excited about the possibilities for the region and focused on working hard towards the future youth want to live in.

“I am excited to listen to what our community has to say about such a young person running for council and either way I feel it is a learning opportunity for myself, council and the community”

She can be contacted through her Facebook page Kibble for Council.

Gisborne district youth councillor Alice Kibble is to make the step up and run for the council in this year’s local body elections.

Ms Kibble, 18, has announced her candidacy as Youth Week begins nationwide.

She could be the youngest person to have run for council but doesn’t see age as any barrier.

“We are blessed in Tairawhiti to have a strong group of rangitahi — young leaders — but how do we make sure the future we are creating is fit for them and is what they want to see,” she said.

As a teenager she identifies with the issues facing young people, including under-representation of youth and lack of civic engagement and education in schools.

She is also concerned about the environment, leaving youth to question ‘‘is there even going to be a future for us’’.

“Tairawhiti is known for its history, culture and sense of community. So how do we run with that and future-proof ourselves so that youth don’t have to face the same issues of today?

“The first port of call is to have someone under the age of 24 at the council table.”

At a GDC community services and development committee meeting, she heard councillors say more youth involvement was required, particularly with the Spatial Plan 2050.

“I was sitting there thinking, I could be that person.”

Youth voter turnout had been disappointing in the past and she hoped her candidacy would give young voters a new opportunity with a candidate in their age range — “someone who is relatable and understands the issues they face on a daily basis. I hope that by me running, more young people will vote in the upcoming election”.

She hopes her fresh and future-focused perspective will also attract voters over 24 who want to create a city accommodating to future generations.

“I am passionate about creating a region where not only do our youth want to stay here after high school, but make it a place that attracts people from out of our region — of all ages and abilities.

“Young people are always being told they are the voices of tomorrow. We hear it all too much when really we need to be the voices of today that are living tomorrow.”

This is the rationale behind her campaign slogan “Speaking the voices of Tomorrow, Today”.

Ms Kibble feels lucky to have grown up in a region where community involvement was encouraged.

Since the age of six she has been an active volunteer at organisations such as Hospice Tairawhiti, Gisborne-East Coast Cancer Society, Red Cross and Gisborne Volunteer Centre.

At a national level, she was in the Students against Dangerous Driving National Leadership Programme and through Commonwealth Youth New Zealand has attended the Student Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Parliament for the past two years.

Ms Kibble said she had received a lot of encouragement since deciding to run for the council.

She intends to show youth that local politics is an option and age is not a number representing how much life experience you have.

“I am excited about the possibilities for the region and focused on working hard towards the future youth want to live in.

“I am excited to listen to what our community has to say about such a young person running for council and either way I feel it is a learning opportunity for myself, council and the community”

She can be contacted through her Facebook page Kibble for Council.

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Dawn Brooking - 3 months ago
Congrats Alice, support your kaupapa.