Youth voice a first for community board

A career in politics is beckoning but Raglan Area School student Liam Dingle knows he has to start small.

The 17-year-old is Raglan Community Board’s first-ever youth representative and he’s keen to lend a younger perspective to the fortnightly meetings.

“A lot of people talk about what they want to change but don’t actually put their hand up to make a change,” he says.

“My role (on the board) is making sure when decisions are made youth are taken into consideration. I will remind them that there are young people in Raglan.”

Liam says he is fortunate to be working with a community board of like-minded people and is looking forward to exploring environmentally-conscious and sustainable options for Raglan.

As well as his interest in sustainability, Liam believes it’s important to deal with the issues affecting our most vulnerable and a central government political career is something he is eyeing in the future.

“We need to look after people, caring about individuals, people without jobs, poor housing or no housing.”

The community board is not his first foray into local politics, he is the current student representative for the school’s board of trustees.

But before he makes his presence felt at the Beehive, Liam has enrolled to study teaching at Waikato University with the view of becoming a primary school teacher.

“I’ve always been good with little kids and people have always said ‘you’d make a great teacher’,” he says.

“Eventually, I want to come back to live and teach here.”

It’s a place the keen photographer loves and is passionate about, and hopes that this passion will help when he sits at the community boards table.

“Raglan is a great place to live, there’s always someone willing to help.”

The Raglan Community Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month, excluding January, April, July, October and December in the Town Hall supper room.

All members of the public are invited to attend a public forum at 1.30pm prior to the 2pm board meeting.

Janine Jackson