The Spinoff’s new six-part documentary series Youth Wings goes behind the O Week stalls to get to know some of the youngest and most passionate members of New Zealand’s main political parties.
It may be hard to imagine, but every single member of New Zealand’s parliament was once young. And when they were young, many of them would have got their first taste of politics by joining a party’s youth wing.
You’ve probably seen youth wings out doorknocking or waving hoardings at busy intersections during election campaigns. You might know them from uni, the ones wielding clipboards and passionately debating policy in the quad during O Week. Now it’s time to meet six representatives of different New Zealand youth wings and find out what it is about politics – and their party in particular – that inspired them to get involved.
From Young NZ First there’s Jay McLaren-Harris, who’s been an admirer of Winston Peters ever since his days as a student at Peters’ alma mater, Dargaville High School. Felix Poole from Young Act made the news earlier in the year for promoting a policy to legalise all drugs – not an official Act Party policy. The Young Greens embody their party’s values by having two members share the spotlight in Danielle Marks and Matariki Roche. Young Labour’s Adam Brand’s blood runs a deep shade of Labour red, while the Young Nats’ Aryana Nafissi has shown impressive adaptability by throwing her support behind three different leaders this year alone.
Are these six young people destined for the corridors of the Beehive in the decades to come? Is that even what they want to do? Why does anybody join a youth wing? Find out next week!
Youth Wings premieres on Monday 17th August 11am. Episodes will be released daily on The Spinoff as well as The Spinoff YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. Made with the support of NZ On Air.