Darryl Stevens

From left to right: RCS Wellington President, Darryl Stevens MNZM; Commonwealth Youth NZ Deputy Director and NZ's representative to the 6th Commonwealth Youth Parliament, Aaron Hape; Commonwealth Essay Competition Senior Prize Winner, Katherine McIndoe; and RCS Wellington Vice-President, Janet Stribling.


Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Deputy Director, Aaron Hape, has been chosen to represent New Zealand at the 6th Commonwealth Youth Parliament in India. The annual conference will be held on 20 - 26 October in the Andhra Pradesh Legislature, Hyderabad.

Mr Hape, 22, has been keenly involved with the Royal Commonwealth Society since his last year of high school and has been a Deputy Director of Commonwealth Youth New Zealand since 2010.

Speaking about his selection, Mr Hape said: "I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to represent New Zealand at this year's Commonwealth Youth Parliament. The prospect of travelling to such a culturally rich country like India makes my selection even more exciting".

Royal Commonwealth Society Wellington president, Darryl Stevens, said that he is pleased to see so much talent being recognised within the organisation.

"Aaron's selection builds on CYNZ's success last year, with Chloe Oldfield being selected to represent New Zealand at the 5th Commonwealth Youth Parliament in London", said Mr Stevens. "This is a magnificent achievement for Aaron and for CYNZ, and I wish him all the best for the conference."

The conference will focus on youth unemployment and better engaging youth in the political process. Mr Hape plans to place particular attention on volunteering and community service.

"Volunteering is a fantastic way for young people to not only give back to their community, but also for them to find new interests, to grow their professional and personal networks, and to become more involved in the institutions that they feel they can help and nurture."

It is anticipated that between 80 and 90 young people from across the Commonwealth will participate in the event. The overall goal of the Youth Parliament is to strengthen the democratic process in the Commonwealth by deepening understanding of parliamentary democracy among the participants. The Youth Parliament will mirror proceedings in parliament with debates, question time, and committee work.

The conference will be presided over by the President of India, His Excellency Pranab Mukherjee, and proceedings will take place under the watchful eyes of experienced parliamentary and Commonwealth officials, such as Sir Alan Haselhurst MP and Dr William Shija, respectively Chairman and Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.