Te Runanganui has thrown its support behind moves to increase rangatahi representation on the church’s two most significant governing bodies – the biennial General Synod, and the General Synod Standing Committee, which is the body empowered to act on the provincial church’s behalf between General Synods.
The runanganui passed a resolution calling on each of the five Hui Amorangi to “appoint at least one rangatahi delegate to attend General Synod.”
Later, after some debate, it added another clause to that resolution: that Te Runanganui “recommends strongly to General Synod that the Standing Committee increase their membership to recognise the future generations in our rangatahi.”
The resolution was moved by Ataahua Hepi, from Te Wai Pounamu. She said young people yearned to be heard – but not by “having a voice speak for us – but from among us, within us.”
She said that when rangatahi surveyed their landscape, and saw young lives lost to suicide, and the toll taken by depression, they asked themselves: “How are we supposed to fix this?
And their answer to that question, she said, was that “we need a voice loud enough to be heard.”