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Parliament comes to the Classroom - Dunedin (June 2019)

The visit is part of the Speaker-led outreach programme that aims to bring ‘Parliament to the people’. This programme was launched last year in South Auckland, and has been extended with the goal of visiting six regions each year.

The Speaker is passionate about making Parliament more accessible to increase public participation in New Zealand’s democratic process.

“We want all New Zealanders to know that they can easily and effectively engage with Parliament, no matter their age or background. Not everyone can make it to Parliament, so it is easy for people to feel separate from parliamentary processes” he said today.

"By taking Parliament around the country, we’re aiming to make people feel that our House truly is their House."

Article below reproduced with permission from the Otago Daily Times.

Group of schoolchildren in a classroom posing with Parliamentarians Enlarge image

Source: Parliamentary Service

Politicians David Seymour, from Act New Zealand, Clare Curran, from Labour and the Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, also from Labour visit the year 6 class of Macandrew Bay School June 28 2019.

The trio visited Macandrew Bay and Bathgate Park Schools as part of an outreach programme for schools that do not have easy access to the Beehive in Wellington.

A mock chamber session, which lasted an hour, gave pupils the chance to learn how Parliament worked.

Politicians were asked largely environment-centred questions, but also about over-population, birthing units, and what Parliament smelled like.

Ten-year-old pupil Margot Latton said her favourite part was when the politicians said funny things to each other during the debate, and she had a very fun morning.

Mr Mallard said the children asked sensible and important questions.

It was good for the children to hear how Parliament worked from different perspectives.

"Having a range of people involved, it means you can do the parliamentary stuff without being political."

- By Fisi-Belle Carrasco-Rex

Article originally published on the Otago Daily Times website