INDEPENDENT NEWS

Nandor: Lessons to be learnt from youth parliament

Published: Tue 17 Aug 2004 04:16 PM
17 August, 2004
Nandor: Lessons to be learnt from youth parliament
New Zealand's politicians should take note of today's Youth Parliament vote, which overwhelmingly rejected raising the drinking age to 20 years old, Green MP Nandor Tanczos said today. In today's sitting of the Youth Parliament, youth MPs voted against raising the drinking age, against raising the driving age and voted for reducing the age of majority to 18 years.
"MPs are very good at talking about young people, but not very good at talking to young people, never mind listening to them," said Nandor, the Green Party's Youth Affairs spokesperson.
"Youth Parliament is a chance for MPs to take notice of what at least some young people have to say.
"It was a bit sad that there were so few MPs in the Gallery. It would be a good idea for those who missed out to read the Hansard record," he said.
"Many MPs like to focus only on the problems some young people cause. Hearing the views of the youth MPs should cause them to be more positive about young New Zealanders. It is inspiring to see the energy and intelligence of young people, not just at Youth Parliament but all over the country."
Nandor said that the youth MPs showed a good understanding of the issues both for and against raising the drinking age. A strong sense of fairness underlaid the decision.
"It is simply unjust to be punishing 18 and 19 year-olds for the binge drinking behaviour of their younger siblings," said Nandor.
"The focus should be on the real problems, which are retailers failing to uphold the law by checking identification, and the widespread targeting of young people in liquor advertising.
"It's obvious that 18 and 19 year-olds are being made scapegoats for the failings of this parliament to make sure that the current law is properly enforced.
"Our youth MPs have realised this. It's about time that our Parliament, having created the Youth Parliament, did the same," said Nandor.
ENDS

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