East Coast Youth Advisory Council formed
An East Coast MP was so overwhelmed with the talent on show when she called for applications to take part in next year's youth parliament, so she expanded the brief.
Every three years politicians select a single representative to take part in the national Youth Parliament, but Labour MP Kiri Allan found the calibre of applicants so high, she decided to create a whole council to meet throughout the year.
At their very first meeting on the weekend, they had a special Chair of the meeting - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Comprised of three members from Whakatane, one from Te Kaha and two from Gisborne, the council had their first meeting on the weekend.
Ms Allan says the Council will meet four times throughout the year, alongside mentoring and opportunities to meet with political, business and NGO leaders.