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New Zealand

Youth Parliament (NZ0013)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: New Zealand Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Youth Development

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Marginalized Communities, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: New Zealand Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment 2: Youth Parliament
Objective:
To improve understanding among young people of how Parliament works
and to highlight topics that matter to young people, the Ministry of Youth
Development will work with the Office of the Clerk and the Speaker of
the New Zealand House of Representatives to deliver an enhanced Youth
Parliament 2019.
Ambition:
Through delivering the six-month Youth Parliament 2019 programme, the
Ministry of Youth Development aims to fulfil the five Youth Parliament
objectives:
• replicate the Parliamentary process
• involve as many young people as possible (before and after the event)
• maximise the educational opportunities of the event
• enhance Parliamentary public relations
• make known the views expressed to appropriate policy agencies.
To allow young people the opportunity to shape what is discussed at the
two-day event the young people selected to be Youth MPs will submit
potential topics for Youth Parliament select committee hearings, and
potential topics for a mock bill.
Status quo:
The current Youth Parliament model (which has run every Parliamentary
term since 1994) involves 120 Youth MPs and up to 20 Youth Press Gallery
members participating in a six-month tenure programme culminating in a
two-day event at Parliament, which will occur on 16 and 17 July 2019.
Youth MPs are selected by sitting MPs and Youth Press Gallery members
are selected by the Parliamentary Press Gallery Lead agency: Ministry of Youth Development
Timeline: October 2018 - June 2020
Commitment 2: Youth Parliament
OGP Values Public Participation,
Technology and Innovation
Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil
the commitment
Start date End date
Widely promote the opportunity to submit to the
ten planned Youth Parliament select committee
hearings ahead of the July 2019 Youth Parliament
event to a diverse range of young people.
April 2019 June 2019
Hold two-day Youth Parliament event 16 July
2019
17 July 2019
Explore (with the Ministry of Education) how
footage of Youth MPs speaking in the debating
chamber of the New Zealand House of
Representatives could be utilised as part of a civics
or citizenship educational resource for schools.
October
2018
June 2020
With the Office of the Clerk of the House of
Representatives maximise opportunities to profile
Youth Parliament via social media channels, including
promoting:
• the Youth MP and Youth Press Gallery
selection period
• the finalising of the select committee and mock
bill topics (planned to be finalised by April
2019)
• the work of Youth MPs in their communities
during their tenure
• activities occurring during the two-day Youth
Parliament event.
October
2018
August 2019
Circulate Youth Parliament select committee
reports to policy agencies relevant to the topics
discussed and publish them on the Ministry of Youth
Development’s website as soon as they are available
after the Youth Parliament event.
July 2019 October
2019

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Youth Parliament [16]

Objective: “To improve understanding among young people of how Parliament works and to highlight topics that matter to young people, the Ministry of Youth Development will work with the Office of the Clerk and the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives to deliver an enhanced Youth Parliament 2019.”

Milestones:

  1. “Widely promote the opportunity to submit to the ten planned Youth Parliament select committee hearings ahead of the July Youth Parliament event to a diverse range of young people”;
  2. “Hold two-day Youth Parliament event”;
  3. “Explore (with the Ministry of Education) how footage of Youth MPs speaking in the debating chamber of the NZ House of Representatives could be utilised as part of a civics or citizenship educational resource for schools”;
  4. “With the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives maximise opportunities to profile Youth Parliament via social media channels”;
  5. Circulate Youth Parliament select committee reports to policy agencies relevant to the topics discussed and publish them on the Ministry of Youth Development’s website as soon as they are available after the Youth Parliament event.

Start Date: October 2018

End Date: June 2020

Context and Objectives

The objective of this commitment is to improve young people’s understanding of how Parliament works by delivering an ‘enhanced’ Youth Parliament in 2019. [17] At the time of the 2017 General Election, just under 50 percent (230,107) of the estimated 460,890 young people in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 18-24 years did not vote. [18] The Children’s Commissioner said in 2018 that one of his biggest concerns is that youth voices are not heard: "Voter turnout showed young people were the least engaged in New Zealand's democratic process and we needed to do better as a country.” [19]

This commitment seeks to address this issue which the public also raised during the development of the action plan. [20] The Youth Parliament event, held every three years (NZ’s parliamentary term) since 1994, [21] provides young people with the opportunity to learn and share information about New Zealand's democracy by holding a Youth Parliament in the House of Representatives when the House is not in session, holding select committee hearings and carrying out other electoral activities. From 1 March to 31 August 2019, 120 young people (each representing a current Member of Parliament (MP)) will replicate the work of existing MPs and attend a two-day Youth Parliament, and 20 Youth Press Gallery journalists will report on this work. Topics submitted by young people and ranked by the Multi-Party Steering Committee and Youth MPs will be discussed at Youth Parliament select committees and in a legislative (mock bill) debate. The Youth MPs will lead projects and hold other public events over the six months. [22] Government hopes that the longer duration of the event this time will mean connection with more youth.

The commitment’s ambition is the Youth Parliament’s ambition: to replicate the Parliamentary process, involve as many young people as possible, maximise the event’s educational opportunities, enhance Parliamentary public relations and pass on Youth MPs’ views to government policy agencies. It meets OGP’s access to information, civic participation, and technology and innovation for openness and accountability values by broadcasting the Youth Parliament and creating and publishing resources, public engagement activities, and by using technology to show how Parliament works.

Proposed actions are the Youth Parliament and related activities, exploring how to utilise its broadcast outputs for civics education, profiling the Youth Parliament via social media channels and placing topics of importance to youth before government’s policy agencies.

While the milestones are specific enough to allow objective verification, the addition of clear indicators of success would add specificity and strengthen the commitment. If fully implemented as designed, more youth and members of the public will know how Parliament and the Press Gallery work, the civics education curriculum and social media will cover real-time Youth Parliament and Youth MPs, and policy agencies will be well-briefed about youth’s issues.

Youth Parliament is well covered by television and newspapers. Some parliamentary journalists felt that, “while the event is spectacular, it only appeals to parliamentary geeks which is not the way to reach all young people”. [23] Stakeholders applauded the longer six-month term and all want its coverage to be an everyday social media profile. A youth development professional praised the work, saying it provides a “regionally diverse group of young people who go back and engage in their regions”, and felt more youth development was needed in the programme. [24]

The commitment will have minor potential impact through continuing to extend its reach and its longer timeline. Long-term impact will depend on its influence after the events, associated work with other groups of youth, and civics education during compulsory schooling. Several stakeholders suggested that legislative change enabling students to pre-register to vote while still attending school could contribute to more engagement and voting.

Next steps

If this commitment is carried forward to the next action plan or if there are improvements to the implementation of this commitment, the IRM researcher recommends work to:

  • provide clear indicators of success for this commitment; and
  • consider how current MPs’ promotional videos developed for encouraging 2019 Youth Parliament applications can be used more widely.

The IRM researcher recommends that consideration of a commitment to strengthen the current ability for school-age students to pre-register to vote is fed into the development process for the next action plan.

[18] Email advice to the IRM researcher from the Ministry of Youth Development, 12 February 2019.
[21] The 1994 Youth Parliament commemorated 20 years since the voting age was reduced to age 18.
[23] 4 February 2019 interview with TheHouse journalists who report daily on Parliamentary business when Parliament is in session.
[24] Advice from a member of Ara Taiohi, NZ’s peak body for youth development, 27 February 2019.

Commitments

  1. Engagement with Parliament

    NZ0012, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Youth Parliament

    NZ0013, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. School Leavers' Toolkit

    NZ0014, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Making New Zealand’S Secondary Legislation Readily Accessible

    NZ0015, 2018, E-Government

  5. Public Participation in Policy Development

    NZ0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Service Design

    NZ0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Official Information

    NZ0018, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  8. Review of Government Use of Algorithms

    NZ0019, 2018, Science & Technology

  9. Data Practice Transparency

    NZ0020, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Monitoring Information Management Practice

    NZ0021, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  11. Open Data Government Organizations

    NZ0022, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Procurement

    NZ0023, 2018, E-Government

  13. Open Budget

    NZ0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Improving Official Information Practices

    NZ0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Improving Open Data Access and Principles

    NZ0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Tracking Progress and Outcomes of Open Government Data Release

    NZ0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Ongoing Engagement for OGP

    NZ0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Starred commitment Improving Access to Legislation

    NZ0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improving Policy Practices

    NZ0011, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. BPS Result 10 – New Zealanders Can Complete Their Transactions with the Government Easily in a Digital Environment

    NZ0001, 2014, E-Government

  21. ICT Strategy Action 13 – Open by Default: Active Re-use of Information Assets

    NZ0002, 2014, Capacity Building

  22. National Integrity System Assessment

    NZ0003, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. The Kia TūTahi Relationship Accord

    NZ0004, 2014, Capacity Building

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