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Let them eat cake! Kiwis recreate democracy with Minecraft

Author: Acumen

Dec 2017

Imagine a Parliament complete with a petting zoo, snow room, rollercoaster and even a cake room – “for all your cakey needs”!

An initiative between Microsoft and Parliamentary Services gave Wellington school students the opportunity to get a peek inside the real Beehive before heading to Microsoft HQ to learn how to use its digital learning tool Minecraft. The students got to work recreating Parliament in their classrooms using Minecraft and the results were both impressive and hilarious. Each school presented its make-believe Parliament back to Parliamentary Services staff and Microsoft director of public sector Jeff Healey who said the exercise demonstrated the power of learning and collaboration using practical and interactive tools like Minecraft.

Acumen Republic worked with Microsoft to secure media coverage for the initiative including a story in the Dominion Post and on Stuff.co.nz, as well as a segment on the Prime News bulletin. Newshub and TV 1 News were also there, but being an election year, the real Parliamentary antics from our politicians took the limelight at the last minute.

Acumen also managed production of both an external and internal video to showcase the initiative on Microsoft’s News Centre and its social channels and share with Microsoft’s Asia Pacific regional team based in Singapore.

Microsoft and Parliamentary Services joined forces to give students an insight into the Beehive and how New Zealand’s democratic system works. Three Wellington schools, Waikanae, Glenview and St Benedict’s, were invited to take part in the pilot programme and all said Minecraft, and the support provided by Microsoft, significantly helped them (even the teachers!) to improve their digital literacy.