New Zealand Young Nationals
|New Zealand Young Nationals|
|Vice President||Katy Hendrikse|
|Policy Chair||Ben Bell|
|Founded||13–14 May 1936|
|International affiliation||International Youth Democrat Union|
|Party Affiliation||New Zealand National Party|
|Politics of New Zealand
The National Party has had a youth section since its inception in 1936 and the name Young Nationals has been used since 1969. The Young Nationals have been a strong lobby group inside the National Party, and often at the forefront of policy development being representative as a Core Group or a Policy Action Group of the party at varying times. For a short period during the party's earlier years there was a younger section of the National party for pre-teenage members but has since disappeared due to the changing environment of New Zealand politics and society.
In 2009, under major changes led by the organisation's governing executive, the Young Nationals were re-organised to serve as a more effective tool for policy activism and campaign activity. As of 2011, The Young Nationals are divided into five regions nationwide, Northern, Central North Island, Lower North Island, Canterbury/Westland and Southern. Each of these regions are headed by their own Chair and executive group and supervised by a National Executive, elected annually during the National Party Conference. The National Executive set the agenda and leadership for the Young Nationals during the year. Some regions of the Young Nationals also may have branches. These include the Alfred Street Young Nationals, which are based in Auckland and considered a counter group to the Princes Street Labour movement and VicNats  which is based around Victoria University. In 2011, the Young Nationals celebrated 75 years as New Zealand's oldest and largest political youth movement.
Often the more liberal views of the Young Nationals have been at odds with those of the wider party. The shift in party opinion in areas such as the nuclear ships debate, economic reform, liquor law reform, and anti-discrimination laws has often been influenced by the Young Nationals.
Voluntary Student Membership
Recently the Young Nationals have been at the forefront of lobbying the New Zealand Government to adopt and pass legislation that would move tertiary Students’ Associations to a system of voluntary membership. Currently, Student Union membership is compulsory in New Zealand for most university students. They believe that students deserve the same choices as all other New Zealanders as students are the only group who are forced to join a union. As a result of this policy, the Young Nationals, in conjunction with ACT on Campus, Free Me and other New Zealanders, were successful in winning select committee  and subsequently government support to pass a private member's Bill by ACT MP Heather Roy to introduce voluntary membership to student associations in tertiary institutions. The Bill was passed into law in September 2011, and took effect in 2012.
The Young Nationals, in conjunction with other New Zealand political party youth wings, support the current purchase age for alcohol of 18 years. They argue that the two biggest problems with the current law are the lack of emphasis on individual responsibility, and the ineffective attempts to enforce moderate drinking, and that raising the age, both at off-licences and at bars, will not solve the problem that New Zealand society faces around the issue of binge drinking. At the National Party Conference 2010 the Young Nationals passed a remit, led by 2010 National Policy Chair Edward Greig, for the continuation of a drinking age of 18.
The Young Nationals do not support increasing the driving age and believe that it unjustly impacts on young people, without dealing with the real causes of poor driver skill levels. They believe that increasing driver training requirements as well as tougher testing will raise the levels of driver competence across all age brackets, and that raising the driving age does nothing to reduce the lack of driver skills.
|Wayne P Marriott||1989–1990|
- Rt Hon Sir Rob Muldoon - Former Prime Minister
- Rt Hon Sir Jack Marshall - Former Prime Minister
- Rt Hon Winston Peters- Former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of New Zealand First
- Rt Hon Simon Upton - Former Minister of Health
- Rt Hon Johnathan Hunt ONZ - Former Labour Party MP and Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
- Hon Roger Sowry - Former Minister of Social Welfare
- Hon Ruth Richardson - Patron
- Peter Goodfellow - Current Party President
- Hon Bill English - Current Deputy Prime Minister
- Hon Dr Nick Smith - Minister for ACC
- Hon Tony Ryall - Minister for Health
- Michelle Boag - Former Party President
- Michael Laws - Former Mayor of Wanganui and Radio Commentator
- Hon Simon Bridges - Member of Parliament for Tauranga
- Nikki Kaye - Member of Parliament for Auckland Central
- Dr Rt Hon Lockwood Smith - Former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
- David Farrar - Kiwiblog
A number of other former members have taken up prominent roles across a number of sectors, such as Phil O'Reilly  as CEO of Business New Zealand, John Marshall QC as President of the New Zealand Law Society  and Paul Matheson as Mayor of Nelson.
- "Alfred Street Young Nationals".
- Young Nats celebrate milestone & raise $10,000
- Young Nats policy
- Freedom of Association Amendment Bill Submisson
- Hartevelt, John (20 October 2010). "Compulsory student union membership to end". Stuff New Zealand. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Keep it 18
- Business NZ profile: Phil O'Reilly
- "NZLS membership and representative services". Law Talk (725). 16 March 2009.
- Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.