MPs seek­ing youth­ful sur­ro­gates

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Lo­cal MPs have called on the elec­torate’s teenagers to take their place in Par­lia­ment – at least for two days.

The Youth Par­lia­ment is set down for July 16 and 17 and gives young peo­ple a plat­form to have their voice heard and ex­pe­ri­ence first-hand how de­ci­sions are made that im­pact all New Zealan­ders.

‘‘I want to hear from young peo­ple who are will­ing to get out and en­gage with the youth in their com­mu­nity to gather their views and rep­re­sent them in Par­lia­ment,’’ Mana MP Kris Faafoi says.

‘‘I know they’re out there be­cause I meet them at our col­leges where they are al­ready show­ing lead­er­ship qual­i­ties.

‘‘I was a youth MP when I was a teenager. It’s a great way to start think­ing of the com­mu­ni­ties and the world around you.’’

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata, who has a Mana elec­torate of­fice, says her ex­pe­ri­ence of host­ing the an­nual Porirua Youth Awards gives her con­fi­dence her rep­re­sen­ta­tive will be keen to take on the chal­lenge.

The suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant will join 120 other Youth MPs to sit in Par­lia­ment, where they will learn the pro­to­cols of speak­ing and de­bate is­sues.

Max Scott, Ms Parata’s 2010 Youth Par­lia­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive, says the ex­pe­ri­ence was a re­ward­ing one.

‘‘Not only in terms of gain­ing a deeper un­der­stand­ing of pol­i­tics but also a greater aware­ness of is­sues re­lat­ing to youth.

‘‘The op­por­tu­nity to open up a di­a­logue with peo­ple my age was ex­cit­ing. I en­joyed the en­tire process im­mensely.’’

Each of the Youth MPs will hold the ti­tle from May 1 to De­cem­ber 31 this year.

Mr Faafoi is ask­ing each school to se­lect one fe­male and one male stu­dent who wishes to rep­re­sent Mana and to cre­ate a video out­lin­ing why they wish to be a Youth MP, be­fore March 15.

Th­ese videos will be up­loaded to Face­book and an on­line poll will de­ter­mine Mana’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

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