Sunday, May 26, 2024

Youth Parliament dates announced

The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. It is run in partnership by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Ministry of Youth Development – Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi.

The Youth Parliament 2022 programme will run from 1 March to 31 August, with the two-day event taking place on 19 and 20 July in the parliamentary precinct in Wellington. The six-month programme allows young people from around Aotearoa New Zealand to actively work and be heard on topics and issues they are passionate about.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Trevor Mallard, said Youth Parliament provided an important opportunity for young people to engage with our democracy and gain a real understanding of the workings of government. 

“Our House is your house, and I believe that Parliament is stronger when rangatahi get involved. This is the tenth Youth Parliament, and over the years this event has provided a forum to nurture future leaders and to build deep connections between Parliament and young people,” Mr Mallard said. 

Minister Radhakrishnan said through the programme, young people could turn their voices into action, and contribute to their communities in a meaningful way.

“While we know that times are challenging at the moment for young people, they have consistently told us that they want their voices heard in the decisions that matter to them, and Youth Parliament is one way they can do this,” she said.

The 120 young people selected to be Youth Members of Parliament (MPs) will have the opportunity to advocate for their communities and debate the issues they are passionate about on a national platform.

During the Youth Parliament two-day event, Youth MPs debate mock legislation, sit on select committees, and ask parliamentary questions of Ministers.

Up to 20 young people will be selected as Youth Press Gallery members and they will report on the activities of Youth MPs, and the debates, select committees, and mock legislation during the Youth Parliament event. They will have the chance to learn from some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best political journalists and learn about the important role the Press Gallery plays.

For the first time, a Youth Clerk of the New Zealand House of the Representatives will be appointed.

The Youth Clerk of the House will be at the heart of political decision making, providing advice to Youth MPs on the workings of government, and ensuring Youth Parliament runs as it should for the rangatahi involved. The young person will learn from the Clerk of the New Zealand House of Representatives and witness the inner workings of Parliament, the Minister said.

“I want to see rangatahi from diverse backgrounds involved in Youth Parliament 2022 so that young people from all walks of life can contribute their perspectives and experiences. I encourage young New Zealanders across the motu to apply to take part,” she said.

Young people aged 16 to 18 years on the selection closing date (12 November 2021) are eligible to become a Youth MP, while Youth Press Gallery members and the Youth Clerk can be aged between 16 and 24 years.

Applications will open on Wednesday 15 September. For further information, click here.

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