Auckland, New Zealand, 30 November 2012
Members of Parliament from all sides of the political spectrum have united to invite young New Zealanders to apply to be participants at the 2013 Youth Declaration conference. The endorsements come ahead of the opening of applications for the conference on 1 December.
Several MPs have endorsed the conference in an effort to encourage more young people to get involved in politics and public policy issues. New Zealand’s youngest MP, National’s Jami-lee Ross, expresses that his support for the conference is rooted from the importance that “young people do get involved in civic matters…because it is our country at the end of the day”.
Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s social development spokesperson, says “the Youth Declaration process…is an excellent vehicle to get young people’s voice higher on the agenda”.
Minister for Maori Affairs Hon Pita Sharples, former Leader of the Opposition Hon Phil Goff, National’s Nikki Kaye and Gareth Hughes of the Green party have also endorsed the Youth Declaration conference.
The conference brings young people from across the country to voice their opinions on public policy issues. The four day conference will involve young people putting together a ‘youth declaration’ of their views on policy issues, ranging from education to economic development.
Conference co-ordinator Jason Armishaw says that "young people should attend Youth Declaration to articulate the New Zealand they want to inherit. Not only does it challenge the perception among adults of apathetic youth, but it also reflects that our future should not be written for us, but by us."
The declaration will be presented to MPs, Non-Governmental Organisations and local leaders. In the past, the declaration has been received by former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, Labour MP Hon Phil Goff, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres and UNICEF New Zealand, among many other dignitaries.
Mr Armishaw says that Youth Declarations of past years have “acted as a reference point to inform MPs of the opinions of young people.”
High School students are invited to apply to attend the conference on the website of UN Youth, www.unyouth.org.nz, between 1 December and early March. University students are also sought for facilitation, welfare and media roles.
The conference takes place between 24 April and 27 April 2013.
For further information, interview or photo opportunity, contact:
Youth Declaration 2013 Co-ordinator
Mobile: +64 21 0476 134