Attending engagements with Members of Parliament, speaking to high school students about the importance of voting, and sitting on select committees at the Beehive are just a few of the opportunities coming Quinn Rimmer’s way in 2022.
The 16-year-old ACG Tauranga student was recently selected to represent the ACT Party at the 2022 Youth Parliament. Held every three years, it aims to give young people the chance to take part in the parliamentary process and encourages ongoing political participation among New Zealand youth.
“I am more than excited! Being chosen for a national level programme out of all the other applicants is overwhelming,” says Quinn, who is one of just nine selected for the honour by the ACT Party.
Quinn’s tenure runs from March until August next year. In addition to a two-day Youth Parliament event in Wellington, he’ll be working on projects that tackle burning issues for youth, advocating for his local community, and getting a taste of life as an ACT MP.
“I think the ability to be mentored by an actual Member of Parliament is what is most appealing to me. I’m also really looking forward to having the chance to debate legislation when we get to Youth Parliament.”
Quinn has always had an interest in politics, and he hopes the experience provide him with some unique insights into the values of parliament.
“I’m particularly interested in energy, the economy and government intervention. That may sound boring to some, but they are interesting subjects that I feel affect us.”
In fact, it was his strong views on energy that secured his selection. Applicants had to submit 500 words outlining the biggest issue facing New Zealand and their proposed solution. Quinn’s essay honed in on “ineffective and unnecessary government regulation and intervention, specifically for our nation’s energy-related concerns”. In it, he highlighted the 2018 Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill, which he suggested should be repealed and replaced with meaningful policy changes that promote the sustainable development of New Zealand’s ocean resources.
He hopes to be able to share his views on this important issue during his tenure with ACT.
“I am really keen to raise awareness of the energy issues facing New Zealand on behalf of rangatahi (young people) as they affect us the most.”
And while he’s not necessarily preparing himself for a future at the Beehive, Quinn believes the experience will be a great way to build his skills and broaden his perspective.
“I don’t see a career in politics in the immediate future. I think it is important to gain real-life skills first and explore the world, but politics will always remain an interest to me.”