First run in 2018, New Zealand Model Parliament is UN Youth New Zealand’s youngest national conference, and we are thrilled to announce its return this year! We are excited to invite all secondary school students to the 3 day event held in the beautiful Ōtautahi - Christchurch for an experiential window into the workings of the New Zealand parliamentary system.
Over the three days, students will have the opportunity to experience hands-on the process of a bill becoming legislation through the House of Representatives. You will assume the role of a Member of Parliament, representing and balancing both community and party interests on a number of thought-provoking topics. During select committees and readings of the mock bill, representatives will have the chance to develop their speaking and negotiation skills while also exploring current issues through workshops and speaker sessions.
Those interested do not need to have previous experience in debating, public speaking or a UN Youth Event in order to apply, just an interest in exploring contemporary Aotearoa issues with fellow rangatahi! Educational content has been prepared so that representatives who may not be familiar with how government functions can engage with material from the get go.
We are also excited to take expressions of interest for an online iteration of this event which will run on the same dates as the in-person event. If you are unable to commit to travelling to Christchurch, this is an excellent opportunity to experience New Zealand Model Parliament from the comfort of your own home! More information will be coming soon.
During the conference, you can expect to be allocated a party role to represent. As part of the official vehicle of change in Aotearoa, you will work with your party on the proposed mock bill and engage in your given select committee. This year's select committee topics include Environment, Health, Justice, Economic Development, Science and Innovation, and Education. Alternatively, you may choose to take on the Press Representative role, which allows you to question Members of Parliament and engage in some hands-on investigative journalism.
There will be a $105 dollar fee to attend the conference in-person. We have a number of scholarships available to cover the conference fee. Scholarships are intended to provide financial support to those who otherwise might not be able to attend the conference due to the barrier of cost. If this fee would cause any financial hardship or inconvenience whatsoever, please consider applying for a scholarship. We appreciate the financial strain associated with accommodation and travel, and are keenly interested in mitigating these barriers as much as possible for those who might otherwise struggle to attend! Scholarships are funded through a mix of internal funding, the UN Youth Trust, and external sponsors.
For representatives outside Christchurch, please consider what travel and accommodation plans may be needed. We endeavour to continue with a Regional Delegation programme to organise meals and accommodation with trained volunteers in a central location, however this cannot be guaranteed. The wellbeing of our participants and volunteers is paramount to us, and we shall be able to provide declarative information by mid-July.
Representative applications close 23:59, Wednesday 13th July
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