WELLINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- 120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members gathered in Wellington, New Zealand for the ninth New Zealand Youth Parliament, which started on Tuesday.
During the two-day event, Youth MPs will gain their insight of New Zealand politics and the democratic process through experiencing all aspects of the Parliament. At the same time, the Youth Gallery members will provide independent reporting of the Youth MPs' activities.
"The Youth Parliament event is a platform for providing opportunities for the young New Zealanders to understand politics and the democratic process," said Peeni Henare, minister for Youth and Chairperson of the Youth Parliament Multi-Party Steering Committee.
The event is intended to inspire next generation of politicians and political journalists, Henare said.
"It's going to be a great experience to encourage New Zealand young leaders to have their voices heard," Henare said.
This year's event features the first time that the Youth MPs will submit and decide on the topics they will be discussing in select committees, such as how awareness of New Zealand's cultural history can be raised. It is also the first time that the Youth Parliament activities occurring in the debating chamber will broadcast live to the public on Parliament TV.
The Youth MPs and Press Gallery were being chosen in late 2018. Since then, the Youth MPs have been engaging in discussion with other young people, designing and undertaking projects that are focused on issues most important to the young generation. Meanwhile, the Youth Press Gallery members have already started reporting on the work done by their Youth MP peers.
New Zealand Youth Parliament is held every three years. It is now the 25th year since the first Youth parliament was held. The Youth MPs are the young New Zealanders between 16 to 18 years old. In addition, the Youth Press Gallery members are the young New Zealanders between 16 and 24 years old.