Youth Parliament is currently sitting. This is a yearly event where young passionate people selected by individual MPs get the chance to visit Parliament and take part in debates and select committee meetings and get a taste of how the country’s house of representatives operates. For one particular youth MP the visit was not something she may wish to remember.
A teen was reduced to tears after her speech about a friend’s suicide during a Youth Parliament debate was interrupted by senior National MP Anne Tolley.
Lily Dorrance, 17, was talking about mental health and describing her loss in Parliament’s debating chamber yesterday when Tolley, presiding as chair, rebuked her for reading from notes.
“It was such a sensitive topic and it came from my heart,” Dorrance told the Herald last night. “And she was trying to tell me because I was reading it it wasn’t coming from my heart.
“When she interrupted me it was awful … As soon as I sat down I burst into tears and had to leave … It was just humiliating.”
Here is the video.
And here is video of how she treated a new National MP in the house about the same issue.
Tolley has since apologised. But dang these are young people way outside their comfort zone.
Parliament can be a bear pit and a festering cess pit of back stabbing and unmet personal ambition. But it does not have to be this way all of the time.