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Gisborne District Youth Council

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Gisborne District Youth Council

Gisborne District Youth Council (GDYC) is an advisory group of people aged between 12-24 years.  They're appointed to be representatives for youth in the Gisborne district. 

The purpose of GDYC

  • strengthen the engagement of young people with the Gisborne District Council (Council)
  • build young people’s knowledge of civic process to enable them to participate in Council decision making processes
  • build Council knowledge of the needs of young people and how these needs may be met
  • enhance the leadership skills of youth and develop a strong positive image and profile of young people within the Gisborne district
  • promote and encourage youth involvement in the planning and development of Council's services and infrastructure, particularly where they have a direct impact on young people
  • ensure that the views of youth are canvassed and conveyed to Council, including advising on or assisting with formal consultations being undertaken by Council; and
  • enhance young people's roles as active community members in achieving outcomes towards a more inclusive community.

GDYC is an advisory group that can make recommendations to Council committees. It's one means which Council may use to obtain input from young people.
The appointment of the GDYC does not remove or reduce Council’s responsibilities to obtain input from other young people through other means.

Expectations of GDYC

Council's expectations of the GDYC are to:

  • act as an advocate and provide expertise to Council on issues important to young people.
  • make recommendations to Council on issues affecting young people.
  • address issues of concern to young people.
  • monitor and evaluate Council's policy and strategic directions in other areas of interest to young people.
  • represent the views of a wide range of young people


To meet the expectations of the terms of reference, GDYC members are required to:

  • attend and contribute to all meetings
  • assist Council to canvass local youth views on matters of interest
  • make regular contributions on Council policy and planning initiatives via traditional forms of communication or social media updates
  • attend training and project meetings
  • work on project teams and committees.

In return for this commitment Council will:

  • arrange and provide training to fulfill the role as a GDYC member
  • assist with the administration of the GDYC including meeting agendas and minutes and provide general administrative and advisory support
  • engage with GDYC on a range of discussion items (transport, environment, culture and arts, social and recreation, economic development, governance, urban development and planning) including preparing staff reports for the GDYC agenda
  • provide peer support through councillor mentoring
  • provide opportunities to be a youth representative on various working parties and project teams
  • keep the GDYC updated with information about Council initiatives, central government initiatives that may be of interest, upcoming training opportunities and other relevant matters
  • where grant funding allows, allocate a sum of funding for the GDYC to allocate to youth-led community projects
  • provide training on and exposure to the local government political system
  • provide a non-voting youth advisor seat on a relevant Council committee.

Structure of the GDYC

Meaningful representation for the youth council is important to us. In the past, the structure was a reflection of the Council, with 13 ward members - 9 for Gisborne city and one each for Matakaoa/Waipaoa, Uawa/Tawhiti, Patutahi/Taruheru and Waipaoa.

The new structure will focus on spheres of influence were young people interact on a daily basis; where they have established peer support structures with existing networks and resources. The seats will be as follows: 7 high school representatives, 2 tertiary representatives and 4 youth focused community groups.

The youth councillors selected for these seats are expected to voice the opinions of young people in their areas and to raise the issues of relevance locally.

Selection of youth councillors

Candidates are nominated by their school or organisation. Each school or organisation can nominate up to 3 candidates.

A selection panel consisting of members of the Community Development & Services Committee and council staff will select 13 councillors.

If a youth councillor stands down or is removed from office, a new councillor will be selected by the original nominees.

Current GDYC members can apply for re-selection with their application being considered alongside any new candidates.

Membership and representation

  • aged between 16-24
  • live within the boundaries of the Gisborne district
  • have the ability to work with other people and work in a team
  • have the time to be able to put towards work on GDYC (average of 4 hours per week)
  • be proactive
  • be committed to attending meetings regularly
  • have access to internet and Skype either at home or through school or another organisation.

The term of appointment for all positions on the GDYC will be a maximum of one year with the selection process occurring in September to October each year.

Collectively, the GDYC should hold a range of skills and experience required for the group to perform their role.

It's expected that youth council members will provide a broad representation of the Gisborne district’s youth population, with consideration given to diversity in ethnicity, gender, ability and age (between 16-24 years)


There will be 7 GDYC meetings each year. The GDYC will hold 2 full meetings per year with all members physically present.  One of these meetings will take place in the first quarter of the year.
Members will be given the opportunity to use video conference as a way of attending some meetings. Members must make every endeavour to attend all meetings of the GDYC.
Half of the current number of members, not including vacancies, must be present physically or by video conference for the group to have a quorum.


Youth councillors will receive a small payment for attendance at the 7 meetings of the GDYC. Those travelling from outside Gisborne city to meetings will be able to claim a mileage allowance at the current Council rate.


Members of the GDYC will not in any way claim to represent the Council or the views of the Council.

Members are expected to present positively on social media.

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