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Youth MPs selected and ready to go

12 July 2004

Youth MPs selected and ready to go

The Youth Parliament's 120 Youth MPs have been selected and their mock legislative bill topic chosen, Youth Affairs Minister John Tamihere announced today.

Youth MPs are selected by list and electorate MPs, but will all be "independent" MPs in the Youth Parliament on August 15-17.

The topic for the Youth Parliament's mock legislative "bill" will be the "Minimum Ages Bill."

The bill will focus on issues relating to various minimum ages in law, such as whether the legal drinking age should be raised from 18 to 20, and whether the minimum driving age should be raised from 15 to 16.

Mr Tamihere said the Bill would be relevant to young people's lives and issues they felt strongly about. It would be an opportunity for them to debate the apparent inconsistencies in law regarding minimum age requirements, and how such requirements affect the lives of young people.

Youth select committees will also explore questions such as "Should New Zealanders be required to carry a universal identity card?" and "Should New Zealand become a republic?"

The youth MPs will also ask parliamentary questions and engage with a youth "press gallery" during the two-day Youth Parliament.

Mr Tamihere said the Youth Parliament was a great opportunity for young people to have their views heard and directly contribute in our democratic system.

ENDS


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