2 May 2022

Young people urged to get vocal in your local online

Our new online tool, Get Vocal in Your Local, makes it easy for young peoples’ voices to be heard in the Review into the Future for Local Government. It’s easy to use, interactive and engaging and it only takes five minutes to complete.

Young people urged to get vocal in your local online

Our rangatahi are our future, but are their voices being heard?

In our conversations with young people, they’ve told us that they often don’t understand what local government is, what it does, or how they can get involved.

They don’t feel like they have a voice in the big issues that affect them.

With Get Vocal in Your Local, you don’t have to know anything about local government to have your say. All you need to do to get started is to pick a place in Aotearoa that is important to you. The tool then guides you through a series of questions that explore some of the big issues the Review is considering: things like who gets to have a say in decision-making, which voices matter, and what the voting age should be.

Why target young people?

The Minister of Local Government has asked the Review to identify ways of building a resilient and sustainable system of local governance that can adapt to the future needs of local communities. We cannot do this without hearing from young people. They are the future of our communities.


‘“We know that we can’t look at the future for local government in Aotearoa without giving young people a chance to be heard. That’s why we’ve made it easy for rangatahi across the country to get involved,” ’ — Jim Palmer, Chair of the Review

Although young people are sometimes very politically active, they are among the least represented groups in the current system of local governance. For example, the average age of elected council members is between 56 and 60.

Get Vocal in Your Local is designed for use by rangatahi, however, it’s a tool that makes it easy for the wider public to share their views too. There is no age limit on using this tool.

We have a range of methods of engaging with different groups, including workshops with diverse communities, a series of iwi kōrero, an online survey and a virtual roadshow with councils across the motu.

What does Get Vocal in Your Local do?

Get Vocal in Your Local provides a way for young people to ensure that their voices are heard.

It gathers insights about young peoples’ hopes for the future of their communities, their ideas about how decisions should be made, and how they can participate more easily in local democracy.

Get Vocal in Your Local removes some of the barriers that have been stopping young people from engaging with local government. It presents easy to understand information about some of the key features of the current system of governance. It’s accessible via mobile phones and other devices. It’s also shareable via social media.

When someone completes Get Vocal in Your Local, it generates a personalised submission to the Review. They can also see how their responses compare to others. All of the responses will inform our draft report and recommendations, which is planned for release in October.

Who made Get Vocal in Your Local?

Get Vocal in Your Local has been developed with young people, for young people. We used feedback from workshops with rangatahi to shape content and design. We wish to thank the young people who helped shape this tool: tauira from Tawa College kapa haka rōpū, Year 10s at Wellington High School, students from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington and rangatahi from the Auckland Co-design Lab.

Get Vocal in Your Local was created in partnership with Toi Āria: Design for Public Good, a research centre at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, together with the development team at Effect.

Where can I find the tool?

Get Vocal in Your Local is online at www.getvocalinyourlocal.govt.nz