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NZ Model Parliament
Photo by Sandra Pooch

New Zealand Model Parliament

Sandra Pooch —

Our active United Nations Youth group were attending events in the school holidays

Last December several Burnside students attended the New Zealand Model Parliament held at the University of Canterbury. This is an event where we take the role of people in our parliament and we discuss and make amendments to a bill as if we were real MPs. We all had a great time, dressing up and taking up the role as one of New Zealand's MPs was a thrilling experience. We had started off with a whole house committee where we read the bill and over the following days we split off into our select committee groups. I was in justice, and we made edits to the bill to align with our (randomly chosen) party's viewpoints - I was in National. My favourite part was on the last day at the second reading of the committee of the whole house - the final reading where edits can be made.

 Due to some miscommunications a clause was added into the bill which was voted down during the select committee. And due to further miscommunications between MPs that clause was going to be voted on during the second reading in the end if we had time; though the National Party had numbers in the select committee we did not in committee in the whole house. So a few of we National MPs held on a filibuster. This filibuster ensured we had no time at the end to debate the clause; we wasted every possible second we could. And in the end it was worth it, we ended up being 35 minutes late. 

It was an exhilarating experience taking the role of a member of our government. And I personally would recommend this experience to anyone. Don't worry filibusters don't happen every year, this was a first! The same organization also holds Model European Union, and Model United Nations events, which allow us to walk in the shoes of different world leaders, and I'm sure attendees of this event will also be attending those events - also events I would highly recommend.

Written by Shivam Shankar 11SBDW