Ian McKelvie's Youth MP Speaks

Youth MPs in their own words: A photo essay - From The House 5 August 2022

Parliament was recently taken over by the Youth Parliament, a triennial event where 120 Youth MPs stand-in for their older counterparts and hold select committee hearings, question (the actual) ministers, and debate in the chamber. 


Daisy Tumataroa -for Ian McKelvie 

You may think Youth MPs, the Youth Press Gallery and Youth Clerk were there to ‘learn the ropes’, but some already outperform their counterparts.

Many brought harsh experience to their perspectives on the issues. They spoke forcefully and with passion on racism, poverty, employment mistreatment, adversity, trauma, mental health, hate speech, gay rights and so on.

They were easily the most diverse group to ever grace the debating chamber.

Below is a scant sample of what they had to say (with pictures).

“Some of us do not receive financial support from our whānau, while others are working to provide for their whānau—many are actually trying to make it out in the big wide world of independence. However, we are all vulnerable.

We are at the beginnings of our careers, full of enthusiasm to be entering the workforce, and, instead of being looked after, we are being taken advantage of."No justice can be found in telling us that our work is worth less than somebody else doing the exact same job who is simply a couple of years older. I ask: how are we any different from 20 year olds? We are paid less — that is the difference. Cheap labour is not the solution to this problem.”