Your Youth Council

2016 Hurunui Youth Council

2016 Hurunui Youth Council

Check out the profiles of the 2016 Youth Council below. For more information on the Youth Council, head to   or contact Hurunui Youth on Facebook.              



Emilee Hickey

Hi my name is Emilee Hickey, I’m 16 years old and attend Amuri Area School. I play many different sports, including netball and volleyball. I joined both the Hurunui Youth Programme Committee and Youth Council because I saw all the cool things they did last year and how all the members made a difference and I wanted to be a part of it.  My aspirtions are to get the youth of Hurunui more involved in HYP events and to get a greater number of youth from Amuri to attend HYP events.




DSC01551Isaac Hassall

Hi my name is Isaac Hassall and I am a student in Year 13 at Hurunui College. I am extremely passionate about sports, in particular football, basketball and cricket, rock climbing and tramping. I joined the Hurunui Youth Council because I thought it would be cool to experience new things and be a voice for youth in my district! My portfolios are health and wellbeing, and tech labs.






Jess Vernal (Deputy Chairperson)

Hi my name is Jess, I’m 18 years old and I’m a first year student studying towards a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Canterbury. I have been on the Hurunui Youth Council for two years and gained the position of Deputy Chairperson this year. I joined because I felt like being on a Youth Council would be an amazing opportunity to meet new people and make an actual difference in my community. I definitely recommend that anyone interested applies for the Youth Council because while it is hard work, the amount of opportunities you receive from it make it worth it. After finishing my Degree I hope to start working as a Criminal Lawyer or join the Police Force to become a Senior Investigator.




Krista Vernal

Hi my name is Krista Vernal, I’m 15 years old and in Year 11 at Hurunui College. I represent Hurunui College on both the Youth Council and Youth Programme Committee, which involves reporting back to both groups, and promoting events at school. In my own time I have many hobbies which include playing sports; particularly Basketball, volleyball and netball. This year is my first year of being on the Hurunui Youth Programme and Hurunui Youth Council which I joined as I believe it was an amazing opportunity to get involved in my community. I have made an amazing group of friends from both in and out of the district. Throughout this year I have been involved in the planning and setting up events around the district, and with my position on the Youth Council I have been in charge of the social media and library portfolio. So if you see me around don’t be shy and come talk to me about what things you want to happen or changes you want to see in the Hurunui!



Nada Simmonds

Hi my name is Nada Simmonds, I love spending time with friends and playing netball. I joined the Hurunui Youth Programme Committee because I have always enjoyed HYP events I have been to and decided that I wanted to be a part of organising and running them on for the youth of our district. I also joined the Hurunui Youth Council because after learning about what they do and achieve, I thought it was a great opportunity and would also really help me in the future when going for scholarships and other leadership roles. So far I have found being a part of both committees to be amazing, we have all become a lot closer and made some pretty cool memories together. My portfolios are environmental services and tourism; all things I am very passionate about. Once I leave school I wish to be a teacher of maths and te reo maori, and being on both committees is sure to help me learn the leadership skills I need and to help get scholarships for university.



Ricki Allan

I’m Ricki and I’m 18 years old. I joined HYC with the opportunities it would create for me and the skills it would teach me in mind. With strong aspirations to enter a career in International Law and/or Conflict Resolution, HYC seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain an insight into governance in an environment that fosters learning and entails real responsibility. I learned more than I expected. Through the strengths training required I became acutely aware of how I myself work, being able to differentiate now between under what conditions I work well and under what conditions I don’t. The responsibility HYC entails lies chiefly in our portfolios – my portfolios include[d] Techlabs, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Funding Applications and Submissions. On a personal level, my passions are learning and people. In my spare time I like to drum and spend time with family.



Sarah Johnson

I’m Sarah, I’m 17 and have been a member of the Hurunui Youth Council for 2 years and have thoroughly enjoyed my time on it. I joined because I like to see opportunities for youth that may not otherwise have happened. I love working with people from all walks of life and one-day hope to become a Radiologist. In my spare time I like to go on adventures around the South Island to experience what our country has to offer, I also enjoy playing the flute and catching up with friends





Sean Ryan (Chairperson)

Yo, I’m Sean and I’ve been a part of the Youth Council for the last four years. I’m in my third year studying towards a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Being a part of the Youth Council has been a pretty amazing experience to get involved in our community and make a difference at a local government level. The HYC is one of the most active Youth Councils in the country, and while this means a lot of hard work for our Youth Councillors, the opportunities that come from being part of a nationally recognised team are unrivaled. If you are interested in getting involved in your community, learning about local government, meeting a bunch of like minded people, and getting amongst some amazing opportunities, the Hurunui Youth Council is the place to do it!



DSC01565Willow Vernal

Hi my name is Willow Vernal, I am 17 years old and I enjoy playing basketball. This is my second year on the Youth Council, as part of my position my portfolio is libraries, which involves making sure they are youth friendly as well as renovating the Amuri area school library! Next year I want to go to the University of Canterbury to do a Degree in Health Science to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse.






Jared Allison

Hi, my name is Jared Allison and I’m 19 years old. I love the outdoors and hanging with mates. My other hobbies include playing sports such as golf, football, basketball and rugby. I am also in the local fire brigade in Culverden. I joined the Hurunui Youth Council because I wanted to be part of a group that comes up with ideas to better our community and to be a part of a team. I have really liked being on the Youth Council this year and hope return next year. My life aspiration is to become a career firefighter.






13898668_651564568330648_1824745245_oYonni Kepes

My name is Yonni Kepes and I’m a Year 11 student who attends St Andrews College in Christchurch. I joined the Hurunui Youth Council as I’m interested in local government and particularly the youth voice throughout local government. This year I have taken on the portfolio of Health and Wellbeing, and Sport. Aside from this portfolio I’m also interested and helping out in portfolios including Environmental Services, Transport, and Emergency Services. Outside of my school life and HYC, I’m an UltraTrail Runner, basically a fancy term for running long distances in the mountains. HYC definitely keeps you busy, but is also a lot of fun so I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in joining in future years.



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