Hamilton students had the chance to engage with the Speaker of the House and visiting MPs when Parliament came to Hamilton on Monday 2 September.
The Speaker Rt Hon Trevor Mallard was joined by local MPs Hon Tim Macindoe (National), Jamie Strange (Labour), and Hon David Bennett (National), as well as Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick. They visited Fairfield Primary school where the students debated whether the school should go green and if it should build a canteen.
The group cooked sausages and mingled with students at Waikato University before heading off to Melville Intermediate.
Melville put their own touch on the mock Parliament by using a taiaha in place of the mace. After debating a wide variety of issues the students asked the MPs questions like whether they got days off and if the Speaker had ever met the Queen (yes, five times!).
The visit is part of the Speaker-led outreach programme that aims to bring ‘Parliament to the people’. “I’m excited to be leading another parliamentary delegation on the Speaker’s Outreach programme, this time to Hamilton. With three local MPs included in the group, we’re all looking forward to meeting and engaging with youths from across the city,” Mr Speaker said.
“We want all New Zealanders to know that it’s easy to get involved with Parliament, no matter their age or background. The Speaker’s Outreach programme is all about sending that message to young people around the country.”