Survey results: Seeking a youth voice This survey was undertaken to create a resource for the LocalNZ workshop, which ran from 16–19 November 2014. The workshop connected 35 New Zealanders between the ages of 18 and 25, providing a collaborative space for them to identify existing and emerging opportunities and challenges. This initiative formed part of the McGuinness Institute’s TalentNZ project – creating an informed, focused and networked group of young New Zealanders able to engage effectively with government and the communities in which they live. Participants explored the question: How do regional goals align with national goals, and how might these goals need to change in order to aid regional growth?
Quality resources are a crucial component of the workshops we run. For LocalNZ, it was important that the participants were not limited to their own experiences and opinions on youth and local government issues. Therefore, we designed a survey with questions that anticipated the issues the participants would soon be discussing. We also asked broad questions that allowed respondents to identify the issues they find particularly important. The response was excellent. Exactly 100 people took the survey, ensuring depth and variety to the answers that were given. We acknowledge that this is not representative, as many respondents were friends of the Institute or were involved with youth councils. The survey is a probe to gauge what issues young people (who are generally interested in civics) want addressed. Therefore, it is intended only to provoke discussion and is unsuitable as a reference for any academic endeavours.
The survey’s answers can be divided into two categories: numerical and written. Numerical responses are the ones that can be represented statistically, such as the respective ages or home towns of respondents. This category also includes questions with multi-choice or yes/no answers. Numerical responses are presented as a series of graphs and charts. Written responses are listed under broad sub-categories that cover all of the issues raised. Respondents’ answers are not all given in full, as this document aims only to summarise the responses given, and spelling errors and minor grammar issues have been rectified.
In collating the responses, it became clear that there are common issues that concern/interest young people. Recurring areas that respondents focused on were issues relating to civics, housing, youth representation, transport, employment, education, community organisations/activities and the environment. It is unsurprising, therefore, that these topics generated a lot of discussion during the workshop.