A group of 24 young people have come together to provide a youth perspective on Christchurch City Council’s draft Coastal Adaptation Framework.
Pupils aged 10-14 from Haeata Community Campus, Lyttelton Primary School, Governors Bay School, Banks Avenue School and Chisnallwood Intermediate were invited to discuss and give feedback on the framework at a one-day workshop held at the Council Chambers on Friday.
For twelve year old Caitlin Rees from Lyttelton Primary School it was an opportunity to be heard as an equal.
“I feel that the Council will hear our voices and will be able to take action from there. It’s good to have kids’ point of view about what we think needs to happen. They have both points of view now (adults and kids) and can put that together to make the best possible solution for us all on climate change.”
Charlotte Eurrell from Haeata Community College says young people bring fresh eyes to the issue of climate change. “It’s making sure that everyone’s opinion is heard.”
Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee Chair, Councillor Sara Templeton, who hosted the workshop, says it is vital young people’s voices are included as Council and communities plan for the effects of coastal hazards.
“Our rangatahi are increasingly concerned about the impacts of climate change on them and future generations.
“The workshop was a really effective way to hear the voices and opinions of children and young people. What have we gotten right in this proposed framework? What is missing - and what could be improved?
“We gathered together a whole range of thoughtful and pertinent ideas and perspectives which will help inform our planning and decision making to protect the things we value for future generations,'' Cr Templeton says.
The framework sets out the roles and responsibilities of Council and private asset owners, guiding principles for adaptation planning for coastal hazards, and a proposed engagement and decision-making process.