Youth Parliament

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Every three years, about 140 young New Zealanders experience Parliament as Youth MPs and Youth Press Gallery members. The Youth Parliament programme provides an opportunity for young people from around Aotearoa New Zealand to be heard, and for Youth MPs to actively work on topics and issues they are passionate about.

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Youth Parliament is an opportunity for young New Zealanders to learn first-hand about New Zealand’s democracy and to influence decision making. Youth Parliament replicates the real Parliament as close as possible.

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The Youth Parliament 2019 programme will occur from 1 March to 31 August, with Youth MPs and Youth Press Gallery members attending the two-day Youth Parliament event in Wellington on 16 & 17 July 2019. See how you can be part of Youth Parliament!

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Find out about the Youth Parliament 2016 programme, including what happened at the two-day Youth Parliament 2016 event, and what Youth MPs did during their six-month tenure.

About Youth Parliament

Youth Parliament is an opportunity for young New Zealanders to learn first-hand about New Zealand’s democracy and to influence decision making.

Youth Parliament is a non-partisan process which was first held in 1994 to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the lowering of the voting age to 18. The first Youth Parliament was a short event that involved young people coming to Parliament for an education day.

Due to the success of the first event, in 1995 Cabinet invited the then Minister of Youth Affairs to hold a Youth Parliament every Parliamentary term, to:

  • replicate the Parliamentary process
  • involve as many young people as possible (before and after the event)
  • maximise the educational opportunities of the event
  • enhance Parliamentary public relations
  • make known the views expressed to appropriate policy agencies.

A tenure programme has been in place for Youth MPs since Youth Parliament 2010, to make it more than an event. The eighth Youth Parliament was held in 2016, and involved a six month tenure from 25 January 2016 that culminated in a two day event at Parliament on 19 and 20 July 2016.

The next Youth Parliament programme will occur from 1 March to 31 August 2019, including a two-day Youth Parliament event on 16 and 17 July 2019.