Small steps are what Whanganui Youth MP Timothy Rowe says will help him to create change as he gears up for a two-day Youth Parliament in June.

Rowe admits he was too fixated with the "bigger picture" early in his tenure when he set out to alleviate child poverty and improve the standard of education.

"I realised I needed to go after realistic goals in order to achieve the bigger things I am passionate about.

"For a person in my position I think all I can do is use my ideas and present them to the people who matter to show there is a problem here and we do need to address it.


"You can't just make change happen; it's a gradual process."

The 18-year-old is instead focused on promoting political engagement among youth to help overcome what he describes as an "it doesn't matter, it doesn't affect me" attitude that haunts young people.

"I see the role of a Youth MP as someone who should get in contact with youth leaders and get other young people involved in politics."

As part of this, Rowe talked to the head students of Wanganui High School and educated them on the voting system. They then addressed the topic to the school to help create awareness. Rowe says his final aim is to create a political youth council in Whanganui where young leaders in the region can discuss politics, although this might be difficult to get up and running because of his study commitments in Wellington at Victoria University for the next three years.