Two Dunedin high schoolers set up National Student Council to 'give students a voice'

Two Dunedin high school students are setting up a project they hope will for the first time give a strong voice to those too young to vote.

A National Student Council is aimed at bringing together the issues of young people from all over the country.

Many students are still years away from being able to vote but two of their peers are determined to ensure they'll still be heard

"Not being able to vote, this does give students a voice," Otago Boys' High School student Rohan O'Shea said.

Liza Piatova and O'Shea are co-chairs of the Joint Dunedin Students' Council.

They're in the process of setting up a national student body.

"Sometimes the younger generation isn't taken seriously when we have our own issues," Kaikorai Valley College student Piatova said.

Issues like youth vaping, youth crime and school attendance.

The aim is to get joint school council representation from all regions engaged in one body.

"The heads of those councils will all meet most likely on Zoom for more regular meetings but hopefully in the future, at some point, we can meet in person," Piatova said.

They even have the support of a former Cabinet minister.

"People who are under voting age have to still abide by the laws of the country and in fact, they are likely to affect them for much longer," Dunedin MP David Clark said.

The political puzzle of reaching all regions is nearly complete.

"Primarily a large gap in the North Island that does include Auckland and Hamilton. Those are very big points we do need to get," O'Shea said.

A small step in the direction of giving a voice to this generation. The next question is will anyone be listening?