This year Ilam was represented in the Youth Parliament by William Muir. William is in Year 13 at St Andrew’s College.
I enjoyed spending time “House Training” him prior to his time in the House in Wellington. He applied himself and did an excellent job throughout his tenure as Ilam’s Youth Parliamentarian. Below is a quick interview with him.
What was the most important thing you learnt?
At Youth Parliament I learnt a tremendous amount about the workings of Parliament and Select Committees. Sitting in the house and actually experiencing the process first hand was an incredible experience and one I’m exceptionally grateful for. The most important thing that I feel I learnt was the inner workings of democracy in this country and how vital it is to preserve it.
Who was the most interesting person you met?
As well as the youth MPs I was privileged to meet many sitting MPs. I made the most of opportunities to quiz the MPs about their careers and how they got there. One of the great experiences I had was chairing the Select Committee (Foreign affairs, Defence, Trade). Mark Mitchell is the sitting MP who usually chairs this Committee. It was amazing to have him come and watch our deliberations and give me advice on how to Chair the Committee and deliver a Select Committee speech.
Would you recommend Youth Parliament to others?
Youth Parliament was one of the greatest honours and experiences of my life. I encourage eligible students to apply for this opportunity. The privilege of going to Parliament and taking part in the process of democracy is powerful and it has cemented my passion for politics.