Youth MP seeks upbeat tales of teens

By Contributor editorial@age.co.nz -
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Wairarapa Youth MP Bella Biggs with Prime Minister John Key at St Matthew's Collegiate School last week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Wairarapa Youth MP Bella Biggs with Prime Minister John Key at St Matthew's Collegiate School last week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Wairarapa Youth MP Bella Biggs has set herself a challenge this year - to find positive stories on youth in the electorate.

Miss Biggs, who is Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott's youth MP, wrote on Facebook that: "So far we are 43 days into the year of the Monkey, 43 days and I am yet to find a positive piece on a young person within the Wairarapa region in one of our local papers."

She said this was "very disheartening and super-disappointing" and out of kilter with the theme of the year.

She said the latest negative attention on young people in Wairarapa has caused stereotypes and prejudices to surface.

Of the 4515 people aged 15-18 in Wairarapa, "we are being accused as a whole to be troublesome youth who are bound to go off the rails".

She said she wanted to counter that opinion by writing a blog throughout the year based on interviews with successful young people.

"This may be a surprise for you to hear, considering we don't see it acknowledged as much as we should, but believe me there are those out there who aren't breaking the law by any means, and are actually doing really, really great things for our region and country."

She will make her blog live after her first interview, calling it "The Power of Positivity".

"Maybe when we start congratulating those who are doing good things rather than giving air time to those who aren't, others will start seeing the potential that everyone has, to be great and to celebrate success.

"Just because it's not a negative news story, doesn't make it not news."

Miss Biggs said interested people could keep an eye on her Facebook page "Bella Biggs -- Youth MP for Wairarapa" and could message her with support and suggestions of people who should be acknowledged on her blog.

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