Stratford Press - 2021-10-13


Former Youth MP is now recruiting


Steph Lewis

Encouraging youth and rangitahi to engage with politics is important for the future of democracy and a healthy sense of citizen participation within their communities. Once every three years, our rangitahi have the opportunity to participate in Youth Parliament so I am excited to announce that the 10th Youth Parliament is being held next year on July 19-20. I am tasked with selecting one young person to represent our electorate. I’ve met so many talented youth during my visits to schools throughout the electorate, it’s going to be difficult to pick just one person for the role. I’d love to see as many young people as possible from throughout our electorate, right across Whanganui, South Taranaki and Stratford districts, apply for this opportunity. I need your help to spread the word and encourage as many of our young people to submit their application. The Youth Parliament programme provides an opportunity to hear from young people from around Aotearoa New Zealand on what is important to them, and for Youth Members of Parliament (Youth MPs) to advocate for youth and rangitahi in our electorate and debate the issues that affect you and other youth, and influence decision-making. When I was in year 12 at school, I was selected by thenMP for Whanganui, Jill Pettis, to be her Youth MP. It was a really fun opportunity and a great experience to see first hand how select committees operate and how Parliament works. Little did I know in 2004 where I’d end up all these years later – recruiting my own Youth MP as your electorate member of parliament. I am accepting applications now from young people who meet the selection criteria, which are: youth who will be 16 to 18 years of age (inclusive) on November 12, are active in their community or region or looking for ways to become active in their community or region, interested in issues affecting young people, politics and/or social change, and can commit to the participation dates from March 1 to August 31, including the Youth Parliament event in July. My Youth MP will get to connect closely with me and the team, engage their family and friends in this mahi, and work on projects they’re passionate about. More information about Youth Parliament 2022 and the full eligibility criteria are available online at: https://www. To apply, I am asking for a three-minute video or short essay, 750 words maximum, that includes an introduction and highlights an issue important to our youth in the Whanganui electorate, what they would advocate for at Youth Parliament and why. All submissions can be sent to me via email to steph. before 5pm on October 29. Please share this opportunity with grandchildren, neighbours, friends, family and whanau. I am looking forward to receiving submissions soon.


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