From 24th August - 26th August, I went to United Nations Youth: Model Parliament 2019 in Christchurch alongside other young leaders around Aotearoa New Zealand. We debated whether New Zealand should Adopt a constitution.
The conference went from the first reading of the bill, then we broke into select committees to debate amendments and new clauses on the bill. I was in the education and workforce committee. Then there was the second and third readings of the bill. As the model house of representatives it was unanimous that we voted against the New Zealand constitution (except for one rogue member). We had lots of time within our parties to understand the party line in particular committees. There was a time in workshops where we didn’t have to portray our party’s line but our own opinions like in the Te Tiriti O Waitangi workshop, the Politics 101 workshop, and the Crisis management workshop. It was really awesome being interviewed by the press delegates in the press conferences because it really helped me understand the role the media has within the political sphere.
I really found it interesting being a part of a party I don’t politically align with but I think It really helped my critical thinking skills to get in the shoes of politician I don’t agree with. I feel this conference really developed my leadership and public speaking skills to new heights. I believe it brought out my passion for politics in an environment where I could excel in. I made a whole lot of new friends from all over the country because of our common interest in politics and also because it was a really supportive environment across all parties even though the time in the chamber could get quite competitive.
I would really recommend New Zealand Model Parliament to everyone who is remotely interested in politics or even leadership. It developed my leadership abilities in awesome ways. So if you are really interested then you should all apply for the 2020 event next year!