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Exercises and worksheets for highschool students.

New Zealand curriculum framework

How to use the worksheets

Worksheet contents

How to participate

Worksheet 8: Plan a visit to Parliament

Who works at Parliament and what happens there

  • Level 3: Making group decisions
  • Level 5: Participating in political process, visiting other places
  • Level 6: Making choices about governing

You can contact the Education Officer at the Parliamentary Service for information sheets.

Divide into pairs.

  1. (20 min) Compile a list of central and local government services in your community. Concentrate on finding the services you think you or your friends might need. Use the phone book and other sources to help you.
  2. (20 min) Report your list back to your class. Choose the best list as the basis of your class list. Divide the class list into:
    • Central Government services
    • Local Government services. Add helpful names and addresses not already on the basic class list.
  3. (20 min) Plan a class tour to Wellington.
    • What to see?
    • What to research?
    • Who to visit?

Questions to consider:

  • Why go?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What are the focus questions?
  • What does Parliament do?

Children may say:

  • They argue;
  • They talk;
  • They make laws;
  • They run the country;
  • They make the budget;
  • They run government departments;
  • They allocate government finances.

Questions which then arise from these:

  • How do they run government departments?
  • How do they allocate government finances?
  • Who works in Parliament?
  • Where in Parliament would they work?
  • What do they do?

Role of MPs:

  • Electorate MPs, list MPs;
  • PM;
  • Secretaries;
  • Media;
  • Caterers;
  • Messengers;
  • Service;
  • Security;
  • Advisers
  • .

Where do they work?

  • Physical outline of Parliament;
  • The debating chamber;
  • Offices;
  • Ministers;
  • Dining rooms;
  • Press gallery;
  • Foyers and function rooms and committee rooms.

Who will we meet on a visit?

  • Not the PM;
  • The tour guides;
  • Possibly their MP, if they make an early appointment;
  • Maybe the security people associated with tour guides;
  • Other visitors
  • .

What will we see?

  • The entrance foyer;
  • The debating chamber;
  • The press gallery;
  • The legislative chamber;
  • The dining room;
  • The lobbies;
  • The meeting rooms/committee rooms/ Maori Affairs room;
  • The grounds;
  • The buildings;
  • The library;
  • Statues
  • .

What sort of questions do we want to ask about these places and people?

Divide the class

  • What questions do you want to ask about the debating chamber?
  • What sort of questions do you want to ask about the buildings and grounds?
  • What do you want to ask about the neighbourhood – the area around Parliament?
  • What do you want to ask about the dining room?
  • What do you want to ask about the press gallery?

Children in groups – brainstorm about these questions:

  • The children should decide which person would ask the questions for them, or they might allocate to different people in the group.

For further reference
See also:

The big picture
Visiting parliament
Public Sector directory
Local government
What MPs do

Preparing yourself
Who is your local MP?
Where is Parliament located in Wellington? Consult a map.
What buildings comprise Parliament?

  • Photograph of the buildings;
  • Look at the phone book.

Who works there?
What sort of information do we need?
What information can they give us?
How can people influence Parliamentarians to make changes?