Youth Week

Youth week is a nationwide festival organised for young people to celebrate the amazing contribution that they make to their communities. For a week in May, young people are involved in events and challenges to celebrate their success in sport, art, civic engagement, volunteerism or leadership. Youth Week also honours the contribution of workers and of organisations that support young New Zealanders to become active citizens of their communities.

About Youth Week

Youth week - Change Maker Award

©The Ministry of Youth Development

Above: Josiah Tualamali, Sharnay Cocup, Charlizza Harris, Hon Minister for Youth Nikki Kaye, Shreya Gejji, Katerina Clark

Youth Week is coordinated by Ara Taiohi, with the support of the Ministry of Youth Development.

 Youth Week aims to:

  • encourage young people to take on challenges
  • raise awareness of the positive aspects of being young
  • empower young people to feel they have the tools and confidence to support each other
  • support youth participation in community planning

Youth Week 2016

We are excited to announce that the next Youth Week will be held from 21 to 29 May 2016! The 2016 Youth Week theme is: Giving Back is Giving Forward.

Keep up to date with Youth Week 2016 through the Aoteaora Youth Voices and Youth Week Facebook pages below with:

How can you get involved in Youth Week 2016?

There are plenty of ways you can get involved in Youth week!

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Attend Youth Week. Contact us to find the Youth Week events near you
  • Organise an event. Access to resources to promote your event
  • Get social! Don’t forget to tweet, Facebook and Instagram in May, the official hashtag will be #YouthWeekNZ


    We will be posting updates about Youth Week 2016 on this page and on social media shortly.

    Youth Week 2015

    Youth week - Leadership Award

    ©The Ministry of Youth Development

    Above: Florence Reynolds, Kate Lunn, Hon Minister for Youth Nikki Kaye, Gina Yukich, Ben Dowdle

    Youth Week 2015 took place from 23-31 May. The 2015 theme was “We are the future/Kō tātau te ao o āpōpō”. This theme encouraged young New Zealanders to become more involved in their communities to build a better future.

    Youth Week 2015 Awards

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    You can download the YMA Winners 2015 video here. Size 17.4Mb.

    © The Ministry of Youth Development

    Showing in the video: Ben Dowdle - Leadership Award, Catherine Chen - Working for Youth Award, Emma Paton - Youth with Disability Award, Katerina Clark - Change Maker Award, Kahurangi Taylor (Limitless Youth Leadership Group) - Youth Group Award, Lucy Xie - Anzac Youth Award, Rachel Dobric (Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute) - Youth Champion Award.

    Recipients of a Youth Week 2015 Award are detailed below.

    Full list of Youth Week 2015 Awards and their locations (PDF 87.14KB)

    The Youth Week 2015 Awards were a great way to celebrate young people and their achievements. It also recognised the efforts of those that worked to support and champion young people. The Youth Champion Award celebrated these people and was a great way to profile and support their work.

    The inaugural Youth Week Awards were held in 2014. Twenty-four young people were awarded a Youth Week 2014 Award in four categories. In 2015, the Youth Week Awards categories were expanded to include young people with a disability, groups of young people and an Anzac Youth Award. In addition, an Award category (Youth Champion Award) was included to recognise those that have made a significant contribution to young people. There were no age criteria for this category.

    The Youth Week 2015 Awards Ceremony was hosted by Minister for Youth Nikki Kaye and took place in the Banquet Hall in Parliament on 26 May 2015. Award recipients were presented with certificates and trophies in each of the eight following categories:

    • Change Maker Award
    • Leadership Award
    • Giving Back Award
    • Working for Youth Award
    • Youth with Disability Award
    • Anzac Youth Award
    • Youth Group Award
    • Youth Champion Award

    Change Maker Award

    The Change Maker Award is awarded to a young person who through embracing diversity is creating change in their community.

    Leadership Award

    The Leadership Award is awarded to a young person who has demonstrated their leadership in a project or organisation.

    Giving Back Award

    The Giving Back Award is awarded to a young person whose actions address a current need and have had a significant impact on their community.

    Working for Youth Award

    The Working for Youth Award is awarded to a young person whose actions specifically support other young people in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, the environment or sport.

    Youth with Disability Award

    The Youth with Disability Award is awarded to a young person with a disability who has made a significant contribution to the disability sector and/or the community.

    Youth Group Award

    The Youth Group Award is awarded to a group of young people who have made a significant contribution to their community in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, the environment or sport.

    Anzac Youth Award

    The Anzac Youth Award is awarded to an individual young person or a group of young people whose activities have contributed to recognising the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and/or celebrating the creation of the Anzac spirit. This could be through (but not limited to) organising activities or resources that focus on family connections, Anzac stories or the freedoms we enjoy today.

    Youth Champion Award

    The Youth Champion Award is awarded to an individual or an organisation who has made a significant contribution to young people in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, the environment or sport.