Young people need to engage in politics

Young people need to become more politically engaged to avoid being "screwed over" by politicians, organisers of a Christchurch conference say.

The University of Canterbury Political Science Society (UCPols) has organised a one-day event on May 19 to discuss youth involvement in local and national politics.

UCPols president Henrietta McNeill said the DisengAGEd conference would include a series of workshops discussing why young people did not vote in local and general elections.

Young people risked being "screwed over" if they did not stand up for what they believed in, she said.

"If they [politicians] realise we're not going to vote for what we want, they can change things like the tertiary education policy because they know we'll sit back and won't have a say."

The society had received funding from the Ministry of Youth Development to help set up the conference, which would have spots for 100 young people, McNeill said.

Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson would be one of the speakers at the conference, plus academics from Massey and Canterbury universities. Several MPs had agreed to attend, including Eugenie Sage, Te Ururoa Flavell and Megan Woods.

Organisers would produce a working paper after the conference, which would be submitted to Parliament and other organisations.

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