Youth Parliament is an opportunity for young New Zealanders to learn about New Zealand's democracy first-hand, and to influence decision-making.
Every three years, approximately 140 young New Zealanders experience Parliament as Youth MPs and Youth Press Gallery members. It is their chance to advocate for their generation's views and concerns, and to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Parliament.
A selection process took place in which the 2016 participants had to demonstrate why they would be good candidates. Each member of Parliament chose their own process, but common themes for the Youth MPs were essay writing, speeches, panel interviews and voting through social media.
Hon Judith Collins MP selected Michael Daya-Winterbottom. Applicants of Ms Collins were asked, in less than 1000 words. to "describe the difference between rights and responsibilities, with examples of each, and how this affects the way young people act now and how they will act in the future", and Michael came out on top.
On Tuesday, 10 November Minister for Youth Hon Nikki Kaye announced the 121 Youth MPs and the 17 Youth Press Gallery members for 2016.
The two-day Youth Parliament 2016 event is scheduled for Tuesday, 19 and Wednesday, 20 July. The Youth MPs will attend Parliament to debate legislation, sit on select committees and ask oral parliamentary questions of the Ministers.
The Youth MPs will be in tenure from Monday, 25 January till Monday, 25 July 2016. During this time, they are expected to actively engage with their community to gain an understanding of the ideas and concerns of youth in their area. They will also be involved in various activities which may include attending a local event with their MP, providing a speech to their school about the importance of enroling and voting, and working with other local Youth MPs and local charity/organisations on a joint project.
Well done to Michael for this fantastic achievement. The King's community hopes he thoroughly enjoys his time as a Youth MP.