Your Youth Council

Check out the profiles of the 2017 Youth Council below. For more information on the Youth Council, head to   or contact Hurunui Youth on Facebook.              



Nada Simmonds (Chairperson)

Hi, my name is Nada Simmonds I am 17 and in year 13 at Amuri Area School. I am from the North Island and have lived in the Hurunui District for the last 5 years. This is my second year on the Youth Council and I am excited to take on more responsibility this year being chairperson. I am also looking forward to working on the completion of our sister district garden and all the new projects this year’s committee might be interested in.  One of my focuses will be to get the youth friendly spaces in library’s finished.



Yonni Kepes (deputy chairperson)

My name is Yonni Kepes and I’m a Year 12 student who attends St Andrews College in Christchurch. This is my second year on the Youth Council and I hope to learn more about local government, youth voice throughout my local district and being an advocate for the young people of the Hurunui, this year.

This year I have taken on the position of Deputy Chairperson, and I am looking forward to working with the Youth Council to make the best decisions for young people. I’m super passionate about sport and the environment. I’m also interested in sustainable transport options, the Emergency Services, and young people having a say in the rebuild period after the earthquake. Outside of my school life and HYC, I’m an Ultra-Trail Runner. Basically, a fancy term for running long distances in the mountains. I’m also a Volunteer Recruit Fire Fighter.


Te Aorere

Kia ora! My name is Te Aorere. I am 16 years old and am currently living in Waiau. As this is my first year, I am excited to see the amount of hard work and dedication that is put into the Youth Council as well as the impact our efforts have on the community as a whole. My aspiration is to inspire youth to step out of their comfort zone and give them an opportunity to speak out on what they think will better the community or any pending issues. Through this, I aim to absorb knowledge from different perspectives and share them across the community.



Sean Ryan

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 unrivalled.



Willow Forbes
Hi, my name is Willow Forbes and I am one of the Cheviot Area School representatives in the Hurunui Youth Council. Last year I was a member of the Hurunui Youth Programme Committee and I really enjoyed being a part of something that benefited the community, and from the committee, I could see the work the youth council was doing and wanted to be part of it. I thought joining the council would be a great learning opportunity and I wanted to be able to play a bigger role in the community.


Shannon Fitzgibbon

Hi, I am Shannon Fitzgibbon and I am 16 years old.  I attend Cheviot Area School and enjoy surfing at Gore Bay and playing netball.This is my
first year on the Youth Council and I am really excited to be around the table as it is a great opportunity to get involved in my local community. I joined the youth council so I could meet new people and make a difference. I hope the year ahead will bring some amazing memories and experiences.



Rosa Thompson

Hi, my name is Rosa Thompson, I’m 16 years old and attend Amuri Area School. I’m right into health and fitness and very passionate about tramping, running, skiing and exploring New Zealand’s high country. I decided to join the Youth Council in hope to build up my leadership skills while helping the community and been a voice for the youth in our district. My main aspiration when joining the Council was to focus on recycling within schools and supporting the other youth members in the exciting new projects occurring throughout the year.



Liam Pengelly

I’m Liam a year 12 student at Cheviot Area School. I am excited to be a part of the Hurunui Youth Council for 2017 because I would like to be a voice for the youth in the district, I am excited to see what the Youth Council brings for 2017 and what we can achieve together. My interests in the youth council are the recreational issues that youth face in the Hurunui district, I am also interested in transport issues throughout the district.




Hi, my name is Ashleigh-Jane I am a year 11 student at Hurunui College. I thoroughly enjoy art and performing arts and am passionate about sports such as volleyball. I joined the Hurunui Youth Council because I thought it would be good to experience new things and be a voice for youth in my district and also to gain more knowledge in being a leader. My focus is on making sure that youth have their say within the community.




Omri Kepes

My name is Omri Kepes and I live in Waipara, North Canterbury. I am extremely excited to be a part of the HYC this year, to meet new people around the district and understand more about what the Youth want in the Hurunui. My focus this year will be connecting with the youth, and making sure their voice is heard. I look forward to building my leadership skills.. I strongly encourage people to get involved in the HYC programmes and events as it would be a small step to bring a big district together.

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