Young voices in Parliament

By Liz Wylie

1 comment
Whanganui Youth MP Timothy Rowe visiting MP Chester Borrows in his Wellington office.
Whanganui Youth MP Timothy Rowe visiting MP Chester Borrows in his Wellington office.

Three young Whanganui voices will be heard in parliament next week when youth MPs Timothy Rowe, Tangihia Manuel and Ben Henderson join 118 others at the Beehive.

Timothy is studying law and commerce at Victoria University and was selected for tenure as Chester Borrows' youth MP in late 2015.
The former Whanganui High School prefect said he will be making a speech on euthanasia legalisation.

"I am for legalisation and I welcome the opportunity to present my argument in the house," he said.

Timothy says he would like to see young people having a say in parliament more often as he says policies that are implemented now will affect youth for a long time.

"I really encouraged my contemporaries to vote in the flag referendum because my generation will possibly have to live with that decision all our lives and I think the age eligibility should have been lowered to 16 for that referendum."

Alcohol abuse is another issue of major concern to Timothy who says education rather than legislation is the key to addressing the problem.

Timothy will be joined at parliament by his flatmate Ben Henderson who is Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie's youth MP also studying law and commerce at Victoria University.

The former Feilding High School student says he was invited to apply to be Mr McKelvie's youth MP and the role appealed to his sense of community and willingness to get involved.
"There is great support in the Rangitikei for young people to get involved and help their communities."

Ben will be putting questions to Education Minister Hekia Parata in the house next week with an emphasis on opportunities for youth in the regions.
"I would like to see youth outside the main centres having access to the same opportunities that young people in cities have.

"I will be asking her how the Ministry of Education will support initiatives to improve prospects for rural youth.

Labour's Te Tai Hauauru MP, Adrian Rurawhe's youth MP is Tangihia Te Aonga Mai
Chaeli-Tequila Manuel.

The former Turakina Maori Girls' College student said she applied for the role in order to "represent my community and my region in advocating the many issues that impact youth
across our nation."

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 success of the first session led to a regular event every three years where young people get the opportunity to debate legislation, sit on select committees and ask oral parliamentary questions of the Ministers.

In addition to the Youth MPs, there will be 17 youth press gallery members who will report on the Youth MPs' activities during the two days.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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