MPs seeking youthful surrogates
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.