Youth Parliament

July 2nd, 2007 at 7:24 pm by David Farrar

The 2007 Youth Parliament starts on Sunday 8 July. If any Youth MPs or Youth Press Gallery read this blog feel free to comment on how the preparation is going, and also how things go during the Parliament itself.

The list of topics for the Select Committees are:

* Are we the Pacific scrooge? Why have we not met the 0.7% target for ODA?
* Has the student loan system created an unfair burden for a new generation of New Zealanders?
* How can we keep more young people in upper secondary school, including should there be a higher leaving age and/or a minimum achievement level for leaving school?
* How can we prevent young people joining gangs and reduce violent offending?
* Is it fair to tax under 18 year olds at the same rate as over 18 year olds?
* New Zealand roads are the leading killer of young people, what can be done?
* What should the focus of our youth justice system be?
* Should New Zealand allow the therapeutic cloning of stem cells?
* Should Party Pills (BZP) be illegal?
* Was the National Certificate in Educational Achievement a good idea?

And the main topic in Parliament itself will be “Tackling climate change – how can New Zealand reduce our ecological foot print?”

It is somewhat regrettable that they have pre-decided for the students that reducing our “ecological foot print” is desirable regardless of the cost. It is a bit like having a topic of “How can NZ reduce our tax rates” instead of “Should NZ reduce our tax rates?”. The quality of the debate will be much the worse for the choice of topic.

Also of interest are the suggestions from Government Departments as to topics. I have a theory many of these are pet issues some in the public service would like to get through, but can’t get Ministers to front. Some mroe interesting ones are:

* Abolition of any voting age, giving New Zealanders of any age the right to enrol to vote
* Compulsory Maori and NZ Sign Language education in every primary school, and embedded in the NZ Curriculum.
* Should artists (composers, singers, animators, etc) be recompensed when the fruits of their labour were used attract internet traffic?
* Screen-Free Sundays Bill (a bill to ban all television broadcasting for one day a week in order to increase physical activity levels and encourage community-based activities)
* Should New Zealanders have a compulsory unique identifier number?

No tag for this post.

35 Responses to “Youth Parliament”

  1. Lucyna () says:

    What is it with New Zealanders and making things compulsory???

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Redbaiter () says:

    These topics, because they’re based on premises that betray a confirmed socialist political perspective, are grossly offensive to anyone who isn’t a leftist.

    The list is proof our education system is not an education system at all, but a process where children are indoctrinated with leftist political ideas at the expense of a real education.

    As I’ve said so often before. Barbaric. Stalinist. Disgraceful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Steve () says:

    I like the bit about abolition of the voting age. So voting can start when the child is born. The more children you have, the more influence you can have on who will guide you through your life?
    Yes I have taken the bait. Hook, line, sinker and most of my arm!!
    Teach the children before they can make up their own minds and turn them into namby pamby socialists.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Steve () says:

    I like the bit about abolition of the voting age. So voting can start when the child is born. The more children you have, the more influence you can have on who will guide you through your life?
    Yes I have taken the bait. Hook, line, sinker and most of my arm!!
    Teach the children before they can make up their own minds and turn them into namby pamby socialists.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. SPam () says:

    “* Has the student loan system created an unfair burden for a new generation of New Zealanders?”

    That’s an easy one. Yes, interest free student loans have created an extra tax burden on the new generation of taxpayers who have to pay for this election bribe.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Andrew Davies () says:

    “That’s an easy one. Yes, interest free student loans have created an extra tax burden on the new generation of taxpayers who have to pay for this election bribe.”

    Exactly. I couldn’t believe Brash didn’t shout this loud and long when Labour offered up their bribe. All he had to do was remind students of how much tax they would have to pay over their lives to support such a scheme.

    Another reason why he deserved to lose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Fred () says:

    Parody impossible….
    Have they got a plan for you.

    “* Abolition of any voting age, giving New Zealanders of any age the right to enrol to vote
    * Compulsory Maori and NZ Sign Language education in every primary school, and embedded in the NZ Curriculum.
    * Should artists (composers, singers, animators, etc) be recompensed when the fruits of their labour were used attract internet traffic?
    * Screen-Free Sundays Bill (a bill to ban all television broadcasting for one day a week in order to increase physical activity levels and encourage community-based activities)
    * Should New Zealanders have a compulsory unique identifier number?”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. James () says:

    I have a sudden urge to sing a rousing chorus of Deutchland uber alles…..

    What can it mean…?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Redbaiter () says:

    “What can it mean…?”

    Hitler-Jugend???

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Porcupine () says:

    Not only compulsion features large but the entire list is almost exclusively namby pamby social issues.

    What about

    * should council and government services be opened to more competition?

    * how can we bring back the go-getting kiwi self reliant spirit and work ethic?

    * should public servants be more accountable for their actions and advice?

    BTW burueacrats like compulsion because it gives them something to do. Without it their lost and at risk of being exposed as superfluous, a bit like politicians.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Rex Widerstrom () says:

    Screen Free Sundays? That would, presumably, be accompanied by the forced closure of DVD rental stores. But then we might rent them on Saturday. So we’d need detector vans in the streets picking up the signals given off by TV screens, like we used to have to catch telly licence evaders.

    But what about Internet downloaders? Not to worry, I’m sure the Beehive will just pick up the hotline to Wen Jiabao and ask how the comrades in China have managed to keep the annoying rabble off the net.

    All for our own good, of course.

    And since we’re so dumb, the lack of a TV program is all it’s going to take to get us out playing some decent, healthy sport.

    Another carefully thought-through policy brought to you by NZ Bureaucracy (TM).

    Surely these kids can think up their own topics? The ones I watched in action years ago certainly did better than this. Or is independent thinking among Youth Parliamentarians not allowed nowadays?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Porcupine () says:

    Here’s a good one for those little parliamentarians to debate:

    Has MMP failed us?

    Is 18th century style parliamentary democracy the correct form of government for a small vulnerable south pacific nation in the new millenium?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Rex Widerstrom () says:

    Porcupine for Speaker of the Youth Parliament!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Fred () says:

    Kiddies revelling in the power of the state …..our little Marxettes learning their trade.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Perry Vinkle () says:

    It is likely that The Glorious Leader had to restrain herself from putting one on that asked them to debate the following: “For how many years should elections in Aotearoa New Zealand Labour Red State be suspended to allow me, The Glorious Leader, Helen Clark, to continue as the Greatest Prime Minister ever in the short history of this fair land: (i) 6 years, (ii) 12 years or (iii) until that UN job comes open again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 () says:

    How about who is going to pay for our retirement when all the productive and smart kiwis have been forced to leave because of interfering state regulation?

    what is it with Yooof, havent they noticed that Socialism is a failed ideology?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Kent Parker () says:

    What is it with New Zealanders and making things compulsory???

    Politics for dummies:

    Government is the somewhat tedious business of providing the rules and regulations (usually compulsory) by which to create order within our highly integrated capitalist society. Without those rules there would be anarchy, similar to Iraq today.

    Already during your two decades or more of education and experience you have learnt and got used to complex rule systems for talking, writing, driving on the road, filing tax returns, applying for jobs or govt handouts/subsidies/grants, operating a computer etc etc etc. As we become more complex and require more intelligence to survive so our rule systems will become more complex. The bureaucracy inside a capitalist multi-national corporation such as Microsoft is just as rule bound as a government department because that is how large integrated systems work (only the leaders are less answerable to the people below them).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Frank () says:

    The most important subject a Youth Parliament needs to debate is:

    Why has New Zealand been denied a written constitution, which would be the foundation on which to build a transparent Government?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Redbaiter () says:

    Kent Parker, it amazes me that you can write such utter self serving pretentious lies and still demand respect on this forum. You are a cheap and ignorant charlatan, and you deserve not one iota of regard. You are a socialist necromancer. You elect politicians who steal from us. You promote a one party state. You indoctrinate out children with an alien and destructive political ideology at the expense of their education. You every day on these forums attack democracy and our freedom. You are obsessed with expanding government at the expense of the rights of the individual.

    At the same time as you do all of these things you demand our respect? I am so galled by your barbarity I struggle to allow you the courtesy of civility. I suggest to all readers of this forum who share my contempt for you and your ilk that this has been our biggest mistake. We have allowed such as Kent Parker the courtesy of respect whilst he and his fellow charlatans have indulged in their savagery and deceit.

    I suggest its time we held such barbarians as Kent Parker in outright contempt, and began the process of removing these odious preachers of such a vile religion from positions of influence in out society. Where better to start than within the education system. John Howard’s education reforms are needed so badly in New Zealand. Where’s the politician ready to take the first step in this battle?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Kevin () says:

    The more complex the rules are the more chance there is of hiding corruption. In a modern educated society we need a small number of tranparent and common sense rules and guidelines and some specific rules to govern our interaction with the rest of the world. Otherwise people should be as free as possible, with severe penalties for abuse of that freedom.

    PS what are Howards education reforms?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. ZenTiger () says:

    Politics for dummies:

    The government is in the tedious business of growing itself. It has virtually unlimited access to raising funds, and huge influence. The fact that we don’t have suitable accountability, transparency and appropriate checks on the government explains why the government is successfully increasing the amount of interference in everyday lives.

    Kent, your explanation reads like an excuse to me. It only highlights the deficiencies in our current system.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. CraigM () says:

    Perry Vinkle – classic. LMAO.

    The best lessons these young minds will learn?

    1.The Camel is a Horse designed by a committee.
    2.That asking the right question, is more important than providing a brilliant answer to the wrong question.
    3.When you are a small cog in a large wheel, you have to work very hard and in total unison with the other small cogs to make the wheel move.
    4. There will always be a bigger cog wanting to put the breaks on the wheel.
    5. the best, most innovative and life changing ideas in the world won’t be implemented if they threaten a political agenda.

    And if you even consider proposing that all NZ’ers should have a compulsory unique identifier, a pox on you all.

    Have fun.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. bobux () says:

    Redbaiter, Steve et al

    I am struggling to see how the following topics are ‘socialist indoctrination’.
    * How can we prevent young people joining gangs and reduce violent offending?
    * Should New Zealand allow the therapeutic cloning of stem cells?
    * New Zealand roads are the leading killer of young people, what can be done?

    Fred, Rex

    David highlighted some topics suggested by government departments that he thought interesting. Why not click on the link provided before bursting into print.

    Others on the list include:

    *Should New Zealanders have the right to sue for personal injury? (ACC)
    *Should we use “boot-camps”? (Corrections)
    *Are there core New Zealand values that pervade across generations and time? Is it feasible to teach such values to newcomers to New Zealand? (Internal Affairs)
    *The place of religious instruction in schools? (Human Rights Commission)
    *Auckland-Waikato transmission lines -pros and cons (Economic Development)
    *What kind of road tolls or road pricing should be used to manage congestion and to what extent should they be used? (Transport)

    I agree that overall the list of topics is skewed towards government intervention. But given they are supplied by government agencies for consideration by ‘youth MPs’, I don’t find that surprising. It is generally easier to engage people in a debate about what what they think should happen, rather than what shouldn’t.

    It would be interesting to know the process by which the final select committee topics were slected from the list of departmental suggestions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. gman () says:

    Apart from the fact that this is a bunch of know-nothing snot-nosed punks getting their precious little faces on the papers with their smiling local MP, feeling really important for a few days–spending our money to talk about how to spend more of our money….

    How many bureaucrats have to
    -come up with this stupid rubbish for the lovely little darlings?
    -babysit and feed the little shits?

    It’s bad wnough that we have to house elected members of parliament and pay for them, why the hell should we pay for these little brats too?

    but my final question:

    Where is the evidence that “New Zealand roads are the leading killer of young people” ?? ?????

    I thought that childhood illness would have killed infinately more “young people” than roads.

    Gman

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Fred () says:

    For Aust. readers, NZ is the sort of country you get if the NSW Teachers’ Union were allowed to run the national govt.

    bobux, bet you have a career where clear thinking is a necessity for survival, eh matey?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Jack () says:

    Looks like South Africa is beating us to the punch line when it comes to childresn rights.

    http://www.sabcnews.com/south_africa/social/0,2172,151791,00.html

    But I suppose it can;t get any worse.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. woppo () says:

    I thought that childhood illness would have killed infinately more “young people” than roads.

    Whatever rocks your misanthropic boat.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Redbaiter () says:

    “I am struggling to see how the following topics are ‘socialist indoctrination’.”

    Yes, I can quite believe how you would be struggling. Like so many of the contributors here, you’re perspective on politics is extremely limited, and as it happens, part of the reason for this is the failure of the school system to educate. How can you possibly have a wide appreciation of political views when you are in reality only given the one perspective by your educators??

    I haven’t repeated the three issues you highlighted here. You need to look back at them. However I can tell you quite easily why they fit the desription “socialist indoctrination”.

    Every one of these issues is based on collective responsibility, and solutions that involve “we”, or “us”, or government doing something to address the (perceived) problem.

    The premise of the question is that these problems can only be solved by our acceptance of that collective responsibility, and collective action to right the (perceived) wrong.

    The questions of course ignore the real problem and by means of their false premises divert you from real solutions. The solution is for each individual to be responsible for his own life, for his own decisions and for his own outcomes. That socialists deny this solution is actually the reason that these perceived problems exist.

    The larger problem is the lack of recognition of the individual under socialism, and the solutions to all of these smaller problems and the larger problem is to reject socialist /collectivist culture and return to NZ’s original culture of independence, self belief and self reliance.

    Nothing rips the heart from a country like socialism. The problem we face as individuals who reject Marxist culture is to convince power obsessed collectivists they are the problem not the solution.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Rex Widerstrom () says:

    bobux… so you’re saying the fact that some bureaucrats proposed topics which aren’t farcical should thereby insulate from criticism those whose grasp of their portfolio area is clearly grossly inadequate, thus making them not only a drain on the public purse but an impediment to getting things done in that field.

    Interesting perspective. Personally, I tend to “burst into print” at the first sign of governmental stupidity and wastage, which is probably why I have such stumpy fingers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. baxter () says:

    Mike E ….I understand the Germans had a system whereby they tattooed the number on the wrist, Apparently it worked quite well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Kent Parker () says:

    The government is in the tedious business of growing itself.

    Zen, under Labour I’d agree that that has happened and it needs to be restructured, but that is a different issue from creating rules for governing people. John Howard’s proposal for reducing child abuse in Nth Australia consists of rules. More or less the only way that governments can deal with stuff is by creating rules, better known as laws. Politicians seldom ‘uncreate’ laws so statutes keep getting thicker and thicker.

    It should be of no surprise to anyone that a youth parliament is going to consider making a whole lot more.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Clint Heine () says:

    Has anybody asked James Sleep about how well he represented Georgina Beyer this time round?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Bex () says:

    Hi, I am a member of the youth press gallery at youth parliament this year.
    It was interesting today to see the mainstream media’s coverage of yesterday’s debate.
    They all left well before the Youth MPs got into it, and missed extremely “Robust debate” (Margaret Wilson’s comment) regarding terrorism and discrimination.
    Phil Goff got attacked personally, many points of orders and yelling then followed.
    It was very interesting, and hopefully we will see the same thing for the legislative debate on climate change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Bex () says:

    Hi, I am a member of the youth press gallery at youth parliament this year.
    It was interesting today to see the mainstream media’s coverage of yesterday’s debate.
    They all left well before the Youth MPs got into it, and missed extremely “Robust debate” (Margaret Wilson’s comment) regarding terrorism and discrimination.
    Phil Goff got attacked personally, many points of orders and yelling then followed.
    It was very interesting, and hopefully we will see the same thing for the legislative debate on climate change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote