Date: 25 March 2019
Congratulations Te Mana Tiakiwai on your appointment as Youth MP working alongside Minister Peeni Henare.
Youth Parliament is held every three years, providing young people with the opportunity to learn and share information about New Zealand's democracy. Youth MPs are selected by current MPs to represent them and 'do' the role of a Member of Parliament as much as possible.
We are thrilled that Te Mana has been given this exciting opportunity to learn about how our government works, develop his leadership skills and contribute to enhancing the government's understanding of issues affecting young people.
An interview with Te Mana.
Congratulations Te Mana. How were you chosen for this role?
The school nominated me and I had to have an interview with Minister Henare. He wanted to know what my goals were as a young person and as a Maori.
Why do you think young people should care about what happens at Parliament?
If you want to have a say or make changes Parliament is where this happens. They have the power. The decisions they make affect our lives. They make the laws we all have to live by.
Have you met your fellow MP’s yet?
Yes I went to Dunedin to a training programme. All the Youth MP’s were between 16-18 years old. We were all from very different backgrounds but we had similar goals. We wanted to make life better in the future.
What do you hope to achieve as a youth MP?
I think that some people still have negative attitudes towards Maori and Pasifika people. It’s partly because we all keep in our own worlds and don’t mix with all people, so they don’t actually have experience of other people.
I would like to be part of the change by organising social events for all people to come together and get to know each other.
I would also like all Maori students to be proud of who they are and to engage with their culture.
Do you think that you would like to be in Politics in the future?
I don’t really know. I see this as being a chapter in my life, an opportunity to see how Parliament works. I might like to be a vet actually.
Whatever Te Mana decides to do, he is destined for success. He is a person grounded in his Maori culture, a fluent Te Reo speaker, who is developing his natural leadership skills which suggests that he will be an influencer for young Maori. We look forward to following his journey. Congratulations Te Mana, we are proud of the contribution that you make to the school and community.
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