Students have their say with MP

Eight Cambridge High School students attended the Youth Advisory Board recently. Pictured from left is, top row: Amie Fittall, Charlotte Mitchell, Liam Petrie, MP Louise Upston, William Crofskey, Hunter Ludlam and Ronan Fitch. Bottom row: Tommy O’Brien and Mac Upston.

Cambridge High School students were reminded that their voices do count when they attended a Youth Advisory Board meeting in Tokoroa recently.

The meeting on April 5 saw students from Cambridge, South Waikato and Taupo high schools gather and discuss ideas with Taupo electorate MP Louise Upston and her Youth MP Katie Donald.

“Attending the Youth Advisory Board was an exceptional opportunity to be an active part of the civics process,” said Charlotte Mitchell, Cambridge High School’s deputy head girl.

“To have an outlet like this is especially important, it allows us to have a conversation with law-makers about the youth’s role in the civics playing field.”

Upston said the meeting was an important opportunity to hear the views of young people. “A really important opportunity to make sure young people have their say and are engaged and understand what happens in Parliament and how they can have their voices heard,” she said.

Students from Cambridge, South Waikato and Taupo high schools met with Taupo electorate Youth MP Katie Donald and MP Louise Upston.

After discussing a number of issues important to youth, including climate change, the cost of living, house prices and mental health, the students came up with a community project, “Bring Parliament to School Day”, which will happen in August.

“This day will have a strong focus on how youth of all different spectrums can play a role in the electoral process and are able to partake in the making of the laws that effect us most,” Charlotte explained.

“As someone who is already heavily interested in the civic process and politics in general, one of the main take-aways from this experience was the different ways that I can involve myself and my community within this process.”

Upston said the students, whom she referred to as the country’s “future leaders”, showed great energy and enthusiasm.

“I’ll be watching their journey towards Youth Parliament 2019 with interest this year,” she said.

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