As David has previously mentioned, the 2013 Youth Parliament is to be held this Tuesday and Wednesday. I was lucky enough to be selected by the Hon. Michael Woodhouse MP to be his representative at the event this week. I am also lucky to have been given the opportunity to post here on Kiwiblog about the event.
On Tuesday, following a formal welcome at Parliament, Youth MPs will go to their respective Select Committees to discuss the following topics:
- Social Services- How can public expectations for social services be balanced against likely rising costs for these services
- Health-Are young people taking enough responsibility for reducing and preventing substance abuse or should this be government’s role?
- Transport and Industrial Relations- What are the barriers to young people entering employment across New Zealand workplaces and how can these be addressed?
- Local Government and Environment- Should government restrict or permit private businesses profiting from conservation activities?
- Education and Science- Compulsory vs. elective subjects in secondary schools – should subjects like science be compulsory?
- Commerce- Purchasing online: supporting modern consumerism
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade- Where should New Zealand’s international obligations lie – Pacific or wider afield
- Justice- White collar vs blue collar offending: do current sentences reflect the economic and social impacts of these crimes?
- Maori Affairs- 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?
- Primary Production- Can New Zealand afford to be free range?
I am pleased to be in the Commerce Select Committee where we will be discussing a topic that is currently getting a lot of media attention. All the topics, however, are substantive and should lead to debate.
The main events of Wednesday are held in the Debating Chamber. Question Time will be held at 10.30 am and Youth MPs will have the opportunity to ask questions of Ministers.
Following Question Time, the Legislative Debate will be held (12.45pm). The Mock Bill, which would:
- reduce the voting age from 18 years to 17 years
- include electronic voting to the methods of voting
- make voting compulsory for all eligible voters
- extend the Term of Parliament from three years to four.
will be debated and then voted upon.
Following this, a General Debate on any topic of the Youth MP’s choosing will be held (3.20pm).
The day will conclude with Notices of Motion, put forward by Youth MPs (5.00pm).
If anyone wants to give feedback or ideas to the Youth MPs they can do so in the comments below, or by using the hashtag, #nzyouthparliament on Twitter or Facebook. Those in Wellington on Wednesday are invited to attend the public gallery, by following the normal process.
I will also be posting a summary of events at Youth Parliament later in the week.