INDEPENDENT NEWS

Local board member breaks silence on troubled youth panel

Published: Fri 16 Sep 2011 12:11 PM
Local board member breaks silence on troubled youth panel
A member of the youth panel set up by Auckland Council is speaking out about wasteful spending and the concerning direction the panel is heading in. This comes as a report is due out from the Auckland Council today which recommends local boards adopt a “youth board model” that could cost the Auckland ratepayer upwards of $330,000, this on top of a further $90,000 revealed to have been wasted by the current panel earlier this week.
“This waste is extremely unsettling, but what’s more concerning is that the Panel has had eight months to recommend a new model for youth engagement in Auckland and has failed” says Joseph Bergin.
The panel came under fire this week on social media following the release of an Official Information request by the New Zealand Young Nationals revealing that almost $90,000.00 was being spent by the current Foundation Youth Advisory Panel, on taxi rides, phone top ups, petrol reimbursements, flights and food for panel members.
Bergin, a 19-year old local board member who sits on the panel, wants the council to listen to young Aucklanders and take action on a range of problems facing the troubled panel and immediately step in to address them.
A report due out today by Council staff, which was accidently posted on the Council website last month, recommends to all 21 Local Boards the establishment of ‘youth boards’ which collectively could cost ratepayers upwards of $330,000. The members of these panels would be unelected and unaccountable.
“Despite my repeated attempts to shift the focus of the panel to these concerning issues, they have conveniently ignored the responsibilities the council trusted them with. It’s wasteful and it’s not getting us anywhere.”
“I want to see the right outcomes for the youth of Auckland, and I will work towards them. As it stands the panel is failing to achieve them.”
ENDS

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