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Youth Affairs Minister Welcomes Youth MPs

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Paula Bennett
Paula Bennett

Parliament is about to be taken over by 122 young New Zealanders representing each sitting MP, with 10 Youth Journalists reporting on them.

"Parliament will look and sound very different over the next two days as the older, more familiar MPs step aside to let a few fresh faces in the door," says Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett.

Youth Parliament will focus on a mock 'age of majority' bill and Youth MPs will debate a single lawful age for driving, voting and drinking.

Youth MPs will sit on select committees, attend caucus meetings, ask Cabinet Ministers oral questions and debate the bill in the Chamber.

"This is a chance for 132 'switched on' young people, to get a taste of what's it's like to operate in Parliament," says Ms Bennett.

"The public can be assured Youth MPs will be held to account by a Youth Gallery media contingent reporting on their every move," says Ms Bennett.

The Youth Gallery provides an opportunity for aspiring journalism students and interns to experience political reporting, while under the wing of a real press gallery journalist.

"We also have a fantastic opportunity for the young people to meet and talk with New Zealand director Taika Waititi and young New Zealander of the Year Divya Dhar about leadership before a special screening of Taika's film Boy," says Ms Bennett.

Youth MPs are aged between 16 - 18, with Youth Journalists 20 and 24 years old.

Youth Parliament's a joint initiative of the Minister of Youth Affairs and the Speaker of the House of Representative.

Youth Parliament has been held every three years since 1994.

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