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July 29, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Youth Parliament 2019 paves way for young leaders

Youth Parliament, held from July 15–17 of July, creates a mock parliament to introduce rangatahi to New Zealand’s system of government. 

 

“[It’s] about providing an opportunity for young New Zealanders to deepen their understanding of politics and the democratic process… inspiring our next generation of politicians and political journalists,” declared Minister for Youth Peeni Henare in his press release on the event. 

 

Youth Parliament, held from July 15–17 of July, creates a mock parliament to introduce rangatahi to New Zealand’s system of government. 

 

“[It’s] about providing an opportunity for young New Zealanders to deepen their understanding of politics and the democratic process… inspiring our next generation of politicians and political journalists,” declared Minister for Youth Peeni Henare in his press release on the event. 

 

Youth Parliament attempts to bridge the gap between politically aware and active rangatahi, and what Henare labelled the “hallowed halls”. 

 

120 Youth MPs were selected by an individual MP to work with them. They came into the Beehive to create connections, debate ideas, and take selfies with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, and the Governor-General. 

 

Youth Parliament has real political impact. Reports by Select Committee on issues such as access to justice and free trade agreements are presented to Parliament’s Select Committee, which allows the voices of rangatahi to be heard, and ultimately influence policy. 

 

The biggest focus over the three days reflected the biggest challenge of our generation. Climate change mahi was evident in the Climate Emergency Declaration, as well as debate on the mock Sustainable Energy Bill. It is hoped that these symbolic acts will serve as precedent for Parliament. 

 

Luke Wijohn, the Youth MP who announced the climate emergency motion, stated, “We are clearly living in a climate emergency, but no one seems to want to actually acknowledge that.” 

 

Molly Doyle, James Shaw’s Youth MP emphasised, “We all know climate change is killing, taking, and destroying what is important to us.” 

 

This motion was developed into an open letter that was tabled in Parliament by Chlöe Swarbrick on July 23.

 

The Youth MPs were told by Henare to “inspire one another about what is possible for the future of Aotearoa”. 

 

While most understood that some issues required participation from all sides of the political spectrum, others seemed to revel in partisan and argumentative debate. 

 

Wijohn said that the event was “incredibly eye-opening to all the good and bad inner workings of our system”. 

 

“It has only solidified my opinion that the only way we can solve the issues we face is if the youth have a say in their future through having younger people in those positions of power”. 

 

The Youth MPs also heard from National Party Leader Simon Bridges, who reminded them that “leaders are made, not born”. 

 

Youth Parliament celebrated the leaders of today, and the leaders of tomorrow.  

 

120 Youth MPs were selected by an individual MP to work with them. They came into the Beehive to create connections, debate ideas, and take selfies with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, and the Governor-General. 

 

Youth Parliament has real political impact. Reports by Select Committee on issues such as access to justice and free trade agreements are presented to Parliament’s Select Committee, which allows the voices of rangatahi to be heard, and ultimately influence policy. 

 

The biggest focus over the three days reflected the biggest challenge of our generation. Climate change mahi was evident in the Climate Emergency Declaration, as well as debate on the mock Sustainable Energy Bill. It is hoped that these symbolic acts will serve as precedent for Parliament. 

 

Luke Wijohn, the Youth MP who announced the climate emergency motion, stated, “We are clearly living in a climate emergency, but no one seems to want to actually acknowledge that.” 

 

Molly Doyle, James Shaw’s Youth MP emphasised, “We all know climate change is killing, taking, and destroying what is important to us.” 

 

This motion was developed into an open letter that was tabled in Parliament by Chlöe Swarbrick on July 23.

 

The Youth MPs were told by Henare to “inspire one another about what is possible for the future of Aotearoa”. 

 

While most understood that some issues required participation from all sides of the political spectrum, others seemed to revel in partisan and argumentative debate. 

 

Wijohn said that the event was “incredibly eye-opening to all the good and bad inner workings of our system”. 

 

“It has only solidified my opinion that the only way we can solve the issues we face is if the youth have a say in their future through having younger people in those positions of power”. 

 

The Youth MPs also heard from National Party Leader Simon Bridges, who reminded them that “leaders are made, not born”. 

 

Youth Parliament celebrated the leaders of today, and the leaders of tomorrow. 

 

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