Teen eager to experience political process

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Timaru teenager Charlotte Cumming is preparing for two days in the corridors of power next week.
Charlotte (17), a year 13 Craighead Diocesan School pupil from Geraldine, will join youth from around New Zealand in youth parliament at the Beehive in Wellington.
Charlotte is a youth MP for Green Party MP Eugenie Sage.
Youth parliament, which will take place on July 18-20, will involve youth converging on parliament to run the country for two days as part of a drive to encourage them to get involved with debate and decision making at a government level.
‘‘Youth parliament offers a great opportunity for New Zealand youth to experience and learn directly about New Zealand’s democracy,’’ Charlotte said.
‘‘It also provides an opportunity to have a part in government decision making as active citizens, to express their views to MPs, key decision makers and the general public.
‘‘Youth parliament closely replicates normal Parliament so it is a chance to experience what Parliament is really like, which will help me to educate others in my community about how our country is run.’’
Charlotte landed the role six months ago after she saw it advertised on the Green Party Facebook page and sent in a written application, followed by a Skype interview with Eugenie Sage.
‘‘I’m passionate about social justice and the environment and thought this would be a great opportunity to develop my interest in politics and represent my community,’’ she said.
‘‘My objective is to find out more about the New Zealand political process, represent the youth in my community’s view and stand up for issues I am passionate about, like climate change.’’