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Māori Party MPs Select Rangatahi For Youth Parliament 2013

MEDIA STATEMENT
The Maori Party
20 May 2013

Māori Party MPs Select Rangatahi For Youth Parliament 2013

The Māori Party Members of Parliament have selected student representatives from their electorates to participate in Youth Parliament 2013.

121 Youth MPs from across the country will head to Parliament on 16 and 17 July 2013, where they will learn about government decision-making processes and share the views of youth with the country’s decision makers.  They will have the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of an MP for two days while they debate legislation, sit on select committees and ask oral questions of Cabinet Ministers.

“The calibre of the applications we received was very high.  It’s really encouraging to see these rangatahi take such an interest in politics,” said Party Whip Te Ururoa Flavell. 

Te Ururoa has selected Kura Waller from Tauranga Girls College.

“What stood out about Kura is that she has an obvious interest in Māori history and is passionate about advocating for Māori to have an independent voice in the Beehive.”

The Youth Parliament 2013 mock Bill will focus on electoral reform.  Youth MPs will debate the merits of reducing the voting age from 18 to 17 years, electronic voting, compulsory voting and extending the Term of Parliament from three to four years.  There are also ten select committees of inquiry with topics ranging from cage free farming to youth employment.

Māori Party Co-leader and MP for Te Tai Hauauru Tariana Turia has selected Te Aonui McKenzie as her representative for Youth Parliament 2013.

Te Aonui McKenzie affiliates to Raukawa and Waikato Tainui and is a first year student studying a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University.

“Te Aonui stood out amongst our applicants as a smart, capable young man, raised amongst his tribe and in te reo Māori,” commented Tariana.  “He has represented his school as head boy, was a member of Raukawa Young Leaders group and was a foundation member of the South Waikato District Youth Council.  He is also a member of the Young Māori Party – he has demonstrated a real interest in politics and the world around him and has strong and well formed views on a range of issues.”

“Te Aonui will be a great asset to Youth Parliament 2013. I had no hesitation in selecting him to represent the Te Tai Hauauru electorate.”

“This year there is a particular relevancy to the Youth Parliament, with the Māori Electoral Option running from 25 March to 24 July.  In essence, this gives every Māori in Aotearoa the chance to choose whether they want to be on the Māori Electoral Roll or the general roll, when they vote in the next two General Elections,” champions Te Ururoa.  “We will be looking with fresh eyes at the Māori Youth MPs that have been selected for the Youth Parliament.  Who knows – we may be looking at some ideal candidates for the 2014 Elections!”

Jordan Brown (Ngāti Hine), a year 13 student from Rutherford College in Auckland has been selected by Dr Pita Sharples as the youth MP for Tāmaki Makaurau.

Dr Sharples said “I was very impressed with this young man who was supported by his kura to put his name forward for the job.  He is a natural leader having taken on many cultural and sporting roles, but what struck me most was his passion for all things Māori and his desire to make a difference in our communities, particularly in the area of youth development.”

“It is so important that rangatahi are able to represent their own views on issues and to speak in their own voice about what matters to them.  I am very much looking forward to Jordan representing a new generation here in Parliament.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our rangatahi to see and be part of the 50th Parliament, and we look forward to working closely with our students as they prepare for their time in Wellington.”

ENDS

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