There was very strong competition for this position. An appointment is made every three years with the lucky person learning what it is like to operate as an MP and is given the opportunity to attend Parliament to see how the House works. During the period in Wellington, all the Youth MPs engage in a debate in the House and observe how the House makes new laws.
As part of the process of understanding the role of being an MP, Andrew Bayly the current MP, asked Connor to join him in a range of meetings with constituents and organisations in late January.
“After spending a couple of days with Andrew, I was able to much better appreciate what the life of an MP is like. It gave me an insight into some of the responsibilities that MPs bear. It was clear that MPs are asked to help with a wide range of matters and knowing who and how to go about solving these issues is an essential ingredient in being a successful MP.
I really enjoyed this time and it has helped me prepare to be a Youth MP.”
Connor explained that one of the reasons he sought the coveted position is that he has always seen civic participation a vital role for all citizens. He believes that more youth need to become involved. He plays an active role in his own school, where one of his roles is the student representative on the School Board of Trustees.
Connor thinks that the best way to encourage youth to become more involved in civic participation could be to initiate a civics NCEA course for students to earn credits for learning the process of Parliament and how to vote and various election processes.
Connor says that he is eagerly looking forward to attending youth parliament in July of this year.
“I see youth parliament as a great opportunity to observe our democratic process in action. Taking part is an excellent way to learn how the government really works.
Representing Hunua as its Youth MP is a great privilege.”