By Stefan McClean, Youth Member of Parliament and CYNZ member
After a toilsome interview, the Speaker of the House, Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and National MP Brett Hudson offered me the opportunity to become a Youth Member of Parliament. Walking into an interview with such political heavyweights, I knew from the getgo that this wasn’t just about the title and a two day tour of parliament. This position offered the opportunity to promote and protect the youth voice, it also allowed me to become that voice.
Since that interview I have organised conferences, attended countless social events, gave speeches and shook hands. As a Youth MP what I really discovered is that, in fact, the youth voice is powerful. Youth can influence politics and make real change, but It takes time and skill, and one speech certainly doesn’t make it reality. Therefore youth, including myself, must persist because we can and have achieved results. Perhaps in such a fastpaced world we have become impatient for results, thus youth apathy for politics has thrived. If so, my next campaign may be to get #Romewasnotbuiltinaday trending.
With Youth Parliament fast approaching everyone needs to make their voice heard, for youth this is a one in a three year opportunity to make real gains. This is not only an opportunity for Youth MP’s to just experience Parliament, it’s also an opportunity to contribute to it.