Delegation of NZ parliamentarians on study tour to US and includes a Maori!


Young New Zealand parliamentarians will learn about American politics and decision-making processes during a 15-day United States exchange programme coordinated by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), the Speaker, the Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, announced today.

The New Zealand delegation will be led by National MP Aaron Gilmore, and will include Louise Upston MP from National, Iain Lees-Galloway MP, Carmel Sepuloni MP, both from Labour, and Gareth Hughes MP, from the Green Party. Haimona Gardiner (Te Arawa), a Private Secretary with the Maori Party, will also been included in the delegation.

Mr Gardiner,25, is the only non-MP in a five-strong delegation of young parliamentarians currently on an all-expenses-paid 15-day trip to the United States, including a White House visit.

The Speaker said the exchange experience aims to strengthen each participants political and public policy knowledge and provide a platform for understanding the American political system.

This exchange is an important opportunity for our young New Zealand politicians to gain an understanding of democratic processes in the United States which are very different from our own, he said.

An ACYPL group from the United States visited the New Zealand Parliament last year. Delegations comprise 7 to 10 young political leaders, aged 25 to 40, who are selected on their current roles and potential for future achievement.

The group will spend the first week in Colorado before visiting Washington DC where they will visit the White House and tour the West Wing which houses the official offices of the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The New Zealand delegation will also visit Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.

The group arrives back in New Zealand on 18 July, 2010.


  1. Hmm.. Another ridiculous tax payers paid junket. Why send a Maori Party private secretary? How will that uplift our people.

Leave a Reply to Nikolasa Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.