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 replicates the real Parliament as close as possible.

Youth Parliament aims to:

  • enable young people to participate in tenure giving them an opportunity to volunteer
  • allow young people to have their voices heard on current issues
  • show to young people how Parliament and government processes work.

Youth Parliament has been held regularly since 1994 when it was first held to mark the 20th anniversary of the lowering of the voting age to 18 years.

The inaugural Youth Parliament was a short event that involved young people coming to Parliament for an education day. Due to the success of the event, Cabinet invited the Minister of Youth Affairs to hold a Youth Parliament every three years from 1997. The most recent Youth Parliament involved a six month tenure from 25 January 2016 that culminated in a two day event at Parliament on 19 and 20 July 2016.

Youth Parliament 2016 stand for Mr Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter

Pictured: Youth MPs stand as the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon David Carter, arrives to start the day’s proceedings