18 June 2004
Geraldine student replaces Green MP
Green Co-Leader Rod Donald has selected a senior student at Geraldine High School to take his seat at this year's Youth
Rachel Meadowcroft, who lives in Geraldine, was chosen from seven applicants from Canterbury and Southland for the 15 to
17 August event at Parliament in Wellington.
"I was delighted by the quality of the applications for the position, although it was a little disappointing there were
so few," said Rod Donald, a Christchurch-based List MP.
"Rachel shone through as a woman with a 'can do' attitude and a belief that young people have an important contribution
to make to our democracy. She has some very clear ideas of her own about how to tackle the challenges facing New
Rod Donald will meet Rachel face-to-face for the first time on Friday when he visits her at Geraldine High School
"I am looking forward to meeting Rachel. Her written application and essay were excellent and she interviewed very well
over the phone. I am confident she will make a significant contribution to the Youth Parliament and gain a lot from the
"This assembly of budding politicians is an extraordinary opportunity for young New Zealanders to get a taste of what it
is actually like to be an MP. The experience can literally be life changing: my 1997 Youth MP, who helped me choose
Rachel, went on to do a Masters degree in politics, while another Youth MP for one of my colleagues is now the party
representative at Green caucus meetings."
The Youth Parliament sits for two days in every three-year term. Each of the 120 'real' MPs selects someone to represent
them and the Youth MPs, who must be aged between 16 and 18 years old, are immersed in a parliamentary experience as
close to the real thing as possible. They will ask oral questions of Cabinet Ministers, debate mock legislation, hold a
general debate on topical issues and sit on select committees of inquiries.
"Rachel's 'immersion' will also include dinner at Bellamys, staying at our house in Thorndon and a swim in the
parliamentary pool!" Rod Donald said.