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Geraldine student replaces Green MP

18 June 2004

Geraldine student replaces Green MP

Green Co-Leader Rod Donald has selected a senior student at Geraldine High School to take his seat at this year's Youth Parliament.

Rachel Meadowcroft, who lives in Geraldine, was chosen from seven applicants from Canterbury and Southland for the 15 to 17 August event at Parliament in Wellington.

"I was delighted by the quality of the applications for the position, although it was a little disappointing there were so few," said Rod Donald, a Christchurch-based List MP.

"Rachel shone through as a woman with a 'can do' attitude and a belief that young people have an important contribution to make to our democracy. She has some very clear ideas of her own about how to tackle the challenges facing New Zealand."

Rod Donald will meet Rachel face-to-face for the first time on Friday when he visits her at Geraldine High School (details below).

"I am looking forward to meeting Rachel. Her written application and essay were excellent and she interviewed very well over the phone. I am confident she will make a significant contribution to the Youth Parliament and gain a lot from the experience.

"This assembly of budding politicians is an extraordinary opportunity for young New Zealanders to get a taste of what it is actually like to be an MP. The experience can literally be life changing: my 1997 Youth MP, who helped me choose Rachel, went on to do a Masters degree in politics, while another Youth MP for one of my colleagues is now the party representative at Green caucus meetings."

The Youth Parliament sits for two days in every three-year term. Each of the 120 'real' MPs selects someone to represent them and the Youth MPs, who must be aged between 16 and 18 years old, are immersed in a parliamentary experience as close to the real thing as possible. They will ask oral questions of Cabinet Ministers, debate mock legislation, hold a general debate on topical issues and sit on select committees of inquiries.

"Rachel's 'immersion' will also include dinner at Bellamys, staying at our house in Thorndon and a swim in the parliamentary pool!" Rod Donald said.

ENDS


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