Breaking down politics into snackable, relevant bites

Images from the Hi-Vis video series
Issue date:
Learning and developing
Involved and empowered

The Hive, a youth-led initiative that began in 2019, has recently launched a five-part video series that aims to break down some of the stuff that can make politics confusing for young people.

The Hi-Vis video series features members of The Hive talking through various topics including: Who’s who in parliament; How laws are made; Our voting system; Political parties; and The Budget.

“I hope it will make young people realise that, when you break it down, our political system really isn't that lofty and complex.  We wanted to get across how it works and what it’s actually trying to do, and try to remove some of the complexity,” says Abby Wong, one of the Hivers involved in the making of the videos.

“We wanted to create something colourful and visual that would catch the eye of young people. The aim for the videos is to be more accessible and appealing for young people – something that literally falls into their lap through social media channels, and that are short and snappy.

The team looked at other resources that are out there, but many are “in a pretty dry format and are often too formal or long and boring”

“We hope that these videos will help young people see where and how they can have their opinion heard. At the same time, we hope that people in government agencies will watch the videos and consider how they’re incorporating youth voice into their thinking, and making sure it’s more than a ‘tick-box’ exercise. So, it’s kind of like a two-pronged approach,” says Abby.

Abby’s interest in politics began when she was about 13, following the ‘Black Lives Matter ‘movement online and exploring ideas around feminism and identity and what that meant for her. It then grew with her involvement with UN Youth Aotearoa, including organising a tertiary event and volunteering as a conference assistant at the Auckland Model UN and the Aotearoa Youth Declaration – a three-four day workshop where young people talk about all things future.

‘Yeah, the conversations were around things like ‘What do you see for the future?’, and ‘What do you think about it?’.  It tries to keep a positive focus and really capture young people’s dreams for the future,” says Abby.  

“It’s easy to get caught up in a cynical view of the world -  social media brings to light important issues, and many of them are negative, so it's really refreshing to be able to talk about them in a more positive and constructive way.

More about The Hive

“The Hive is a bridge to connect young people and decision makers, by turning dry policy into snackable, relevant content and inviting young people to have their say in safe and effortless ways,” says Anna Cernis from the creative agency Curative that supports the project.

The Hive was co-founded in 2019 by the Ministry for Youth Development and Curative, following co-design workshops with young people. It’s an initiative that supports young people to have authentic two-way conversations with decision-makers, about the issues that matter to them.

“Each year, we recruit a diverse group of rangatahi from across Aotearoa. There are currently 14 'Hivers', aged 16-24, who meet online regularly, and in person a few times a year. There’s also an alumni of over 30 Hivers. 

“The Hivers call the shots around determining what issues they want to be involved in, and have built up an Instagram community of 1,400+ and an extensive reach,” says Anna.

Since the initiative started, The Hive has helped government decision-makers engage with young people - with one engagement reaching 192,000. They’ve produced a number of reports, which have helped inform things like the Emissions Reduction Plan, the Adoption Law Reform, Content Regulation Reforms, and Housing and Regulation of residential Property Managers.

The Hive is supported by funding from the Ministry of Youth Development

Find out more: Welcome to The Hive!