Town Planning Review

Voices of youth: Planning projects with children and young people in New Zealand local government

Town Planning Review (2005), 76, (4), 375–400.

Abstract

Youth participation in local government has been a hot topic at both central and local government levels in New Zealand. This paper reports on the findings from interviews undertaken with planners and local government officers working in 11 local authorities where youth participation initiatives have been developed. In particular the research explored what motivated planners to become involved with children and young people, the structures and processes they used to develop more participatory approaches and the types of projects that the authorities developed. The findings indicate that while there is indeed tremendous enthusiasm among those we interviewed and a commitment to enhanced participation for young people, levels of participation were low and understandings of the broader context of participation limited. The initiatives were prompted by a desire on the part of local government to 'do something' and to respond to identifiable problems and needs, rather than any deeper desire to confront the marginalised position of young people in society and local government.

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Author details

Freeman, Claire

Aitken-Rose, Elizabeth