Youth Parliament 2019

The Youth Parliament 2019 programme occured between 01 March to 31 August 2019. 120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members also attended the two-day Youth Parliament event in Wellington on 16 and 17 July 2019. The six-month Youth Parliament 2019 programme provided an opportunity for young people from around Aotearoa New Zealand to actively work and be heard on topics and issues they are passionate about. More information on the Youth Parliament 2019 programme can be found in the Role of Youth MPs and Role of Youth Press Gallery Members information below.

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An overview of Youth Parliament 2019 is available below.

Image containing information on Youth Parliament 2019

Youth Parliament 2019 Participants

Youth Members of Parliament (Youth MPs) were selected by Members of Parliament, and Youth Press Gallery Members were selected by the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Videos of Youth Parliament Proceedings Available Now

Videos of Youth Parliament proceedings can be viewed on the New Zealand Youth Parliament YouTube channel. Check out the action from Question Time, Select Committees Report Presentations, Legislative Debate and General Debate.

Role of Youth MPs

Each Member of Parliament (MP) selected a Youth MP to represent them and young people from their community.

Youth MPs submitted potential topics which were discussed at the Youth Parliament two-day event and connected with their peers to understand their views on topics which were discussed. They delivered projects, engaged with the MP who selected them, and accessed other opportunities.

At the Youth Parliament event in July 2019, Youth MPs learned about parliamentary and government decision-making processes through participating in general and mock legislative debates, sitting on Youth Parliament select committees, and asking parliamentary questions of Ministers.

All Youth MPs were provided with training at the beginning of the six-month programme and in May 2019. This helped them to understand their role and supported them to prepare for the two-day Youth Parliament event in Wellington.

Eligibility to be a 2019 Youth MP

Young people eligible to be selected as Youth MPs for Youth Parliament 2019 were aged 16 to 18 years at the close of the participant selection period on 19 October 2018.

Role of Youth Press Gallery Members

The Youth Press Gallery replicates an important part of our democratic process, taking the role of independent media reporting on Youth MPs and Youth Parliament.

The Parliamentary Press Gallery selected 20 Youth Press Gallery members, who profiled and reported on Youth MPs and their activities during their tenure, including reporting on the two-day Youth Parliament event.

Articles and other content created by Youth Press Gallery members help to gain media coverage for Youth Parliament and build interest among young people around what happens at Parliament.

The opportunity to be part of the Youth Press Gallery provides a unique developmental opportunity for young people who aspire to become journalists or who are interested in the workings of Government from the perspective of the Press Gallery.

Eligibility for the 2019 Youth Press Gallery

Young people eligible to be selected as Youth Press Gallery members for Youth Parliament 2019 were aged 16 to 24 years at the close of the participant selection period on 19 October 2018.


Tenure has been a part of Youth Parliament since 2010 to ensure Youth MPs have the opportunity to engage with their communities, and for the Youth Press Gallery to be able to profile Youth MPs and their activities. For Youth Parliament 2019, participants’ tenure (also known as the six-month Youth Parliament programme) runs from 01 March to 31 August, with the two-day Youth Parliament event occurring on 16 and 17 July.

Youth MPs were encouraged to canvas the opinions of their peers to inform their participation in the two-day Youth Parliament event. In addition, Youth MPs could undertake a community project during their tenure, which could be one identified with the MP who selected them. A project could be carried out in partnership with other Youth MPs or with other partners, such as youth-focused organisations.

Youth MPs were able to carry out further activities during tenure that aligned with the objectives of Youth Parliament, including:

  • attending a local event with their MP
  • giving a speech to high school students on the importance of voting, in partnership with the Electoral Commission
  • surveying their peers to collect their views on Youth Parliament select committee topics
  • other activities.

It was the responsibility of the Youth Press Gallery members to keep the public informed about these activities – just like real Press Gallery journalists.

Youth Parliament E-newsletters

Youth Press Gallery members reported on Youth MPs and the projects they delivered during the six-month Youth Parliament programme. These were published in three Youth Parliament e-newsletters.

Two-Day Event

During the two-day Youth Parliament event, Youth MPs participated in a programme designed to closely replicate Parliament, including:

  • Question time: Youth MPs asked questions of Ministers
  • Select Committees: Youth MPs separated out into subject select committees and their reports were tabled in the House
  • General debate: Youth MPs discussed any issue they feel passionate about
  • Legislative debate and vote: Youth MPs considered the Youth Parliament 2019 mock bill and participated in a conscience vote
  • Party caucus sessions: Arranged by individual parties, these sessions provided a chance for Youth MPs to discuss how conscience votes are made by caucuses

Youth Parliament Select Committee Hearings: Public Submission Process

You can read the reports from each Youth Parliament Select Committee on the New Zealand Parliament website.

Young people (aged 12-24 years) in particular were encouraged to submit their thoughts on the ten topics Youth MPs have chosen to be considered in select committee hearings at the two-day Youth Parliament event in July 2019.

Submitting their views on the topics selected for discussion at the 2019 Youth Parliament event presented a great opportunity for young people to have input on issues that concern them, their community, and young New Zealanders today.

The Office of the Clerk administered the public submission process for the ten Youth Parliament select committee hearings.

The ten Youth Parliament select committee topics are:

Economic Development, Science and Innovation

How can we maintain economic growth while reducing the wealth gap?

This topic looks at how we can reduce the wealth gap and income inequality in New Zealand, while still encouraging national economic growth.

Education and Workforce

How can we adjust our methods of teaching to better support students of all ethnicities?

This topic explores how schools can adapt their methods of teaching so that students of all ethnicities feel accepted and supported at school and are able to learn.


What steps should we be taking to mitigate the effects of climate change? (You may wish to consider our use of plastics, waste management, water usage, carbon emissions etc.)

This topic asks what steps New Zealanders should be taking to try and lessen the effects of climate change.


What can we do to lower the rate of suicide in New Zealand?

This topic explores what we can do as a nation to prevent people dying from suicide.

If you'd like to talk to someone or need some help, the following resources are available:

  • Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
  • Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666
  • Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
  • Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633 (or free text 234 8am - midnight; or email

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Should we continue to seek and ratify free trade agreements such as the CPTPP and NZ-EU FTA?

This topic explores whether New Zealand should continue to enter into free trade agreements with other countries, like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the New Zealand and European Union Free Trade Agreement.

Justice Select Committee

How can we manage our youth justice system to prevent youth from ending up as life course persistent offenders?

This topic investigates how our youth justice system should be managed to prevent young people from becoming life course persistent offenders (individuals that offend in childhood and continue to offend through adulthood).

Māori Affairs

How can we raise awareness of our cultural history?

This topic asks how we can make people more knowledgeable about the cultural history of New Zealand.

Primary Production

How can primary industries prepare for issues that arise from climate change? (E.g. water usage, environmental quality, land use and biosecurity risks)

This topic looks at what measures primary industries can take to safeguard the industries and the way they work against issues resulting from climate change.

Social Services and Community

How can we encourage civic engagement amongst the younger generation?

This topic asks how we can encourage young people to engage in political and practical aspects of citizenship including involvement in government and the community.

Transport and Infrastructure

How can we encourage the use of environmentally sustainable transport?

This topic asks how we can encourage people to use environmentally sustainable transport options in their everyday lives.

New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust 2019 Youth Parliament Competition

The New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust 2019 Youth Parliament Competition award recipients were announced at a Youth Parliament function. The competition provided an opportunity for 140 Youth Parliament participants (Youth MPs and Youth Press Gallery members) to win money towards their future study.

  • First place: $2,500 towards future study
  • Two runners-up: $2,000 towards future study

2019 Competition Details

Youth Parliament participants were invited to submit an essay, speech in video format, or a video presentation on one big issue facing our society. Entrants were asked to describe what Government could do to better enable businesses to make a difference on this issue. Further details about the competition and are available in the competition brochure.

2019 Competition Award Recipients

The overall recipient was Shine Wu (Youth MP), who received $2,500 for his essay on inspiring innovation by building Aotearoa’s new entrepreneurs.

The two runners-up, who each received $2,000, were William Wood (Youth MP), who created a video presentation on systemic generational poverty, and Fiona Wu (Youth Press Gallery), who wrote an essay structured around environment and sustainability issues.

Highly commended awards were also awarded to James Macey (Youth MP), Sophie Dixon (Youth Press Gallery), Kate Morris (Youth Press Gallery) and Shaneel Lal (Youth MP).

About the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust

You can read more about the Trust on their website.

Information for Youth Parliament 2019 Participants

Initial training sessions for Youth Parliament participants took place in main centres around Aotearoa New Zealand in late February and early March 2019. These educated Youth MPs and Youth Press Gallery members on their role during the six-month Youth Parliament 2019 programme.

A second training process in May 2019 more specifically prepared participants for the two-day Youth Parliament 2019 event.