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Photo by Joe McMenamin

Naenae College pupil Noella Niyonzima picked for Rimutaka for Youth Parliament

Media Excert —

No matter how many times young people watch Hunger Games and Divergent, "we don't seem to grasp the main theme - that young people can change societies".

So said Sacred Heart College 17-year-old Claudia Homan in her pitch last week to a panel put together by Chris Hipkins MP to decide who would represent him in the Youth Parliament to be held in July 2016.

Homan said too many young people are unwilling to rebel against social norms or their parents' views - yet it was many of those parents who marched for change over the Vietnam war, apartheid and visits by US nuclear ships.

"We've become too passive and trusting of our politicians. No longer do we think we have the power to change the way our nation runs."

Nila Taylor, from Chilton St James, said the difficulty lies with "connecting the enthusiasm and liveliness of youth with the world of politics, referendums and polling.