Sarah Dowie’s Youth MP named

Invercargill news
Monday, October 12, 2015

Callum Findlater has been named my Youth MP for 2016 representing Invercargill electorate.

Callum, 17, lives in Ryal Bush and attends Central Southland College.  He has a keen interest in politics, debate and the history of our democracy. He would like to commit his life to the service of others through politics.

“The opportunity (to be the Youth MP for Invercargill) will enhance my existing interest in politics. To sit in the House and participate in something greater than the world I live in.”

He competed against three others in the final stage of the selection process on Friday October 09 at the Ascot Park Hotel in front of about 50 people who attended in support of the students.

The participants were asked to deliver a five-minute speech on one of four topics, which included immigration, conservation, what more could be done to support our vulnerable families, and the economy. The finalists were also required to answer a judge’s question.

The finalists, including Callum, were Blair Duthie, Keiren Perkins, and Caitlin Boyle, who was the runner-up.

Callum chose to speak about vulnerable families. The speech topic was: The Government announced in the 2015 budget that the benefit rate for families with children is increasing by $25 a week after tax, which is the first time since 1972 that core benefit rates have been increased by more than inflation. What more can be done to support vulnerable members of our community?

Sarah Dowie says Callum showed conviction and passion in his delivery and a depth of understanding in his speech topic.

The calibre of all applicants was fantastic. To advance to the final stage was a wonderful achievement, Sarah Dowie says.

“Southland will be in good hands moving forward as these excellent young people will be wonderful leaders and ambassadors for the south.”

Callum Findlater will join 120 other youth MPs selected to engage with and represent their community from January next year, and put their experience to practice at Youth Parliament on the 19th and 20th of July.

Youth MPs will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about New Zealand’s democracy, and have their views heard by MPs, key decision-makers and the general public.

Youth MPs will also be invited to enter an essay competition sponsored by the Business and Parliament Trust after the completion of their tenure. All participants in Youth Parliament will be advised of an essay topic, with the three best essays winning a first prize of $2500 and two runner-up prizes of $2000.

I will also assist Callum in his tenure to help him run constituency clinics and other forums to help him gather views from his peers in preparation for Parliament and to give him a taste of the job.

Nominated Youth MPs will hold the title from 25 January to 25 July 2016.