Youth Parliament is every three years, and will be 16 and 17 July this year. I think it is an excellent initiative to promote civic awareness among younger New Zealanders.
The major topic for Youth Parliament will be electoral reform. Youth MPs will debate a bill that:
- reduces the voting age from 18 years to 17 years
- includes electronic voting to the methods of voting
- makes voting compulsory for all eligible voters
- extends the Term of Parliament from three years to four.
Also select committees will consider the following issues:
- How can public expectations for social services be balanced against likely rising costs for these services?
- Are young people taking enough responsibility for reducing and preventing substance abuse or should this be government’s role?
- What are the barriers to young people entering employment across New Zealand workplaces and how can these be addressed?
- Should government restrict or permit private businesses profiting from conservation activities?
- Compulsory vs. elective subjects in secondary schools – should subjects like science be compulsory?
- Purchasing online: supporting modern consumerism
- Where should New Zealand’s international obligations lie – Pacific or wider afield
- White collar vs blue collar crimes: do current sentences reflect the economic and social impacts of these crimes?
- As more iwi move towards a post-settlement environment, how do rangatahi see the role of iwi in supporting the development of the next generation?
- Can New Zealand afford to be free range?
The list of the 121 Youth MPs and 20 youth press gallery members is here.
If any Youth MP or youth press gallery member wants to do a guest post/s at Kiwiblog detailing their experiences with Youth Parliament, just let me know. I can arrange a guest login.