Video: Chloe Swarbrick opens up about her struggles with mental health in powerful maiden speech to Parliament

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Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick has given a passionate maiden speech to Parliament outlining the new way of thinking she brings to the House, as the country's youngest MP in over 40 years.

Despite her age, the 23-year-old showed little nerves while giving her first address in Parliament this afternoon, where she outlined the need for better mental health services in New Zealand and talked about her own struggles in that area.

"I spent a lot of my teenage years struggling with anxiety and depression. The reason I talk about this is not because my mental health history makes me a stronger person, or has necessarily given me any insights into the world.

"Rather than making me special, a history of mental health issues, rather makes me quite normal. Because as I have said these issues are pandemic in our society," she said.

Ms Swarbrick then talked passionately about how politicians shouldn't try and hide their flaws in a bid to hide weakness from a ravenous opposition.

"We in this house have the opportunity to help define normality, so I think that we have the responsibility to represent ourselves as we really are with our flaws intact," she said.

The 23-year-old has been handed the party's education portfolio as well as being spokesperson for small business, broadcasting, youth, local government, internal affairs and arts, culture and heritage.

Ms Swarbrick, who shot onto the political scene by grabbing 30,000 votes while running for the Auckland mayoralty last year, was at number seven on the Green Party list.

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