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Youth MP for Manukau East selected


MP for Manukau East
12 October 2015 MEDIA STATEMENT

Youth MP for Manukau East selected

Jenny Salesa, MP for Manukau East, is delighted to announce 16-year-old Selena Gordon (Tainui) has been selected as her Youth MP.

Selena Gordon attends McAuley High School for Girls in Ōtāhuhu. She was selected by a panel of judges from three excellent finalists – Selena, Nabeel Mohammed (Papatoetoe High School) and Salvis Laurenson (Aorere College).

“It was a pleasure to hear from our three young finalists. All three are passionate about the issues their community faces and are thinking hard about how positive change could be made through community action and through the Parliamentary system,” Jenny Salesa says.

“Manukau East is very lucky to have such confident and intelligent youth leaders. I congratulate them all and their families and teachers.

“I was so impressed I have offered to mentor all three of them. I will also be establishing a Manukau East Youth Advisory Group to assist me and I have invited them to be founding members.

“I especially congratulate Selena and I welcome her as my Youth MP for Manukau East. I’m really looking forward to working with and mentoring her. She already has a great track record as a young leader and she displays a thoughtful understanding of the New Zealand political system and how young people could be engaged.”

“I look forward to working with her for the rest of the term.”

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Eight candidates had been nominated by Manukau East schools and completed a written process. This was followed by a 5-minute public speech about the issues facing Auckland in the next decade, as well as a question-and-answer session with the judges.

A Youth MP must be someone who is passionate about youth issues, politics and social change and is confident engaging with a wide range of people.

The 51st Parliament Youth MPs’ term will run from January to July 2016, starting with a training school and culminating in a visit to Wellington to take part in a Youth Parliament on 19 and 20 July 2016.

Youth Parliament is as close as possible to the real thing. Taking part allows young Kiwis to influence government decision-making as active citizens and to have their views heard by key decision-makers and the public.


Editorial Notes

Selena Gordon has participated for many years in St John Youth, gaining her Grand Prior Award and being named District Cadet for Manukau and Clevedon in 2014. She commits time to volunteer work, including Women’s Refuge and as a coach at Clevedon football club. As a child she won a Youth Achievers’ Award and was taken to Parliament. Recently, she has made a conscious effort to understand more about her Māori heritage. She has competed three years running in Ngā Manu Kōrero, the national Māori Secondary Schools Speech Competition, in which she has placed as high as third. She is taking part in the Te Puawaitanga Wahine Trust programme for developing young women.

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