Mena and Maria are both students – Mena is in her last year of her nursing degree at Ara, and Maria is in doing a commerce degree at the University of Canterbury.
What they both love about this city is the sense of community. “It’s the vibes,” says Maria. “Everything that’s happened here in Christchurch - all the stuff we’ve been through, like the earthquakes and floods – has helped to create this sense of community that wasn’t here before.” “It’s a place where you feel welcome,” says Mena.
Youth issues are also important to them. “Youth are the future of our cities and we need to look after them,” says Mena.
“We need to be raising awareness of mental health, and health in general, and the importance of education. We need to lift our communities through education.”
“We also need to be looking at how we can develop more opportunities to be involved in this city,” says Maria. “Decision-making shouldn’t just be seen as something for older people. We need the youth perspective too.”