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Youth Parliament, a platform for our youth

Wednesday 27 April 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Youth Parliament, a platform for our youth
Participants in the 2022 Youth Parliament. From left: Madancima Makara (Mitiaro), Munokoa Takai (Rakahanga), Akarere Taka (Matavaera) and Rosaline Antonia (Tongareva). Melina Etches/22042602

Twenty-six youths have registered for the ‘Elect’ Cook Islands Youth Parliament meeting which started yesterday morning in preparation for the ‘parliament sitting’ in Parliament Chamber tomorrow.

Organised by the Cook Islands National Youth Council (CINYC), the event is aimed at young Cook Islanders aged 18-35, and intends to provide a platform for youth to become more aware of and involved in political discussions, and participate in parliamentary proceedings.

The participants come from a range of community, government, and non-government roles, and include representatives from the Pa Enua.

Munokoa Takai was raised on the northern island of Rakahanga and is now employed at Te Marae Ora in the Health Intelligence Unit (HIU) on Rarotonga.

Although she is “very nervous” at the upcoming Youth Parliament, Takai is excited and believes the experience will be beneficial, “we will be learning about the parliamentary processes and listening to different presentations, it will be good,” she said.

Speaker of the House Tai Tura, Clerk of Parliament Tangata Vainerere, parliamentary staff and the Cook Islands Youth Council and registered participants in the Youth Parliament. Melina Etches/22042605

In her opening speech, CINYC Vice President, Claytoncy Taurarii congratulated the youth for taking on the challenge.

 “Every single one of us is unique and each person lives life differently.”

“The youth of today is our only hope for tomorrow, hence why we you a sense of responsibility, by guiding, nurturing, and showing you the right path.

“We are all responsible for strengthening the foundation of our country,” she said. in Parliament Ch

The Speaker of the House Tai Tura, the Clerk of Parliament Tangata Vainerere and parliamentary staff also attended the Youth Parliament sessions at the Edgewater Resort.

The CIYC Executive Members for 2021-2022 are: President - Alexandria Mackenzie-Hoff, Vice President - Claytoncy Taurarii - Southern Group Islands, Vice President - Byron Brown - Northern Group Islands,  Secretary - Keisha Dais, Treasurer - Selane Tairea.