Aotearoa Youth Voices - December issue

16 December 2014

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Happy holidays everyone!!

Well we made it to the end of 2014 and what an action packed year it was.

This year, among other things at the Ministry of Youth Development, we've given young people the opportunity to take part in the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, march in the Bastille Day Parade in Paris, and debate in the Y20 Summit in Australia. We also held the inaugural Youth Week Awards back in May.

We hope that you are winding down and have some relaxing times planned ahead but first of all, check out our final Aotearoa Youth Voices newsletter for 2014. This month's theme is Youth Volunteering and we've got some great stories from some of our AYV members who are helping make their communities a better place.

Common Ground web series

The people behind Common Ground have just released a second episode of their web series. Check out the episode here.

Common Ground web series

Have you got your ducks in a row?

Studylink - Ducks in a row ad.

If you're studying next year there's a lot to get sorted. Help StudyLink to help you and get your application in now to be in the best position for the start of your study. The sooner the better, but be sure to apply by the 16 December 2014.

Gallipoli 100 year commemoration 2015


Did you know that ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps?

We're really pleased to announce three of the Youth Ambassadors heading to the 100 year ANZAC commemoration at Gallipoli, Turkey in April 2015.

Sam Harrison and Charles Norton from Nelson and Jessie Chiang from Auckland were selected through the Ministry of Youth Development's social media competition. These three outstanding young people join 22 others who will travel as part of the New Zealand Defence Force contingent to Gallipoli, represent Aotearoa and share their experiences with us back home.

Youth Week 2015

aro taiohi logo

Youth Week 2015 will be held from the 23-31 May 2015 and the theme this year is "We are the Future".

Ara Taiohi, who organise Youth Week , are calling for schools to be involved in the poster design for Youth Week, which you will then go on to vote for as the official Youth Week 2015 poster.

If you or a school you know of would like to be involved in the poster design visit:

Sione's Quest – Success!!

AYV Sione bike in Bluff

Sione Paea, who successfully completed his mission of a lifetime biking, running and rowing from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 30 days to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation, came to visit the Ministry of Youth Development in Wellington on 17 November.

Just past the half-way point, he came to our offices on day 17 of his challenge, before continuing on his quest for 13 days in the South Island.

He told us about his journey so far: the great, the good and the not-so-good. His experiences have ranged from biking through hail, rain, snow and blistering sun. From freezing cold temperatures meaning he had to get off his bike to change gears because his hands were like ice blocks, to extreme heat that burnt his lungs.

All that aside, he really enjoyed his trip alongside Allan, his colleague from the Rotorua Youth Centre, and says they had a lot of fun, especially when they were not on the road. He said the journey was a huge point for him and he acknowledged how hard it can be, although for Sione it's more the mental than the physical blocks that he found difficult. These crept up biking daily in all kinds of conditions, and the occasional urge for a sleep-in. What kept him going in those times was reminding himself that he was doing this for a great cause to help young people and children, setting small goals for each day and… the thought of food. He especially looked forward to eating seafood in the South Island.

Throughout the whole journey, Sione covered 2300 km, running a total of 1000 km and biking 1300 km, with an average 75km a day. The hottest day got to 35 degrees Celsius, and the coldest was below zero. All the proceeds he raised for this quest through fundraisers will go towards charity, which is currently at around $4,000. Sione and Allan relied on the generosity of Kiwis they met along the way, who offered them shelter and food. So far, they only had to sleep in their van once!

We'd like to say congratulations and a big thank you to Sione for being an inspiration and role model to other young New Zealanders.

Photo: Sione and his bike once he reached Bluff

Waimakariri Youth Council Team Building Trip to Wellington

AYV Waimakariri Youth Council logo

On 17 October the Waimakariri Youth Council (WYC) went to Wellington on a team building trip. The WYC was only established in February 2014 so we hadn't done anything like this before. The purpose was for team building, as well as an opportunity for professional development and learning.

Some of our activities included:

  • a trip to Parliament for an educational tour
  • visiting the the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD)
  • a trip to the Friday night market
  • visiting the BGI (Boys and Girls Institute) to do some team building activities
  • going to see the Wellington City Youth Council.

The Waimakariri Youth Council is partially supported by the Ministry of Youth Development through the Youth Development Partnership Fund. We were also sponsored by the Rangiora Rotary Club after members of WYC helped set up and pack down their annual book sale.

The trip to Wellington was planned and organized by a subcommittee within the Youth Council, consisting of Tina Curry (Youth Development Coordinator), Tayla Reece (Chairperson), Claire Van Der Veldt (Deputy Chairperson), and Josiah Peach (member).

10 of our 12 Youth Councillors flew up, as well as our Youth Development Coordinator and a support person. Waimakariri District Councillor Peter Allen also flew up and spent the Friday with us.

Submitted by the Waimakariri Youth Council

Liam's reward for finding young people jobs

AYV Liam Horowhenua jobs

You may remember Liam from our AYV newsletter a while back. If not, go check out the great work he's doing helping Horowhenua young people find jobs. Anyway, he wanted to say a big thanks to all who have supported him.

Tēnā koutou katoa

I was just like to say it was an absolute privilege to accept a Youth Excellence Scholarship in Community Service at the 2014 Horowhenua District Council Civic Honour Awards on Tuesday. Without any of you, I would not be doing what I am doing now. 2014 has been amazing for me. It was a privilege to take on the role as Deputy Chairperson of Youth Voice Horowhenua. I have learned so many things and met some absolute amazing people. It was an amazing experience for me.

I would like to give a huge thank you to my family and friends for supporting me. Especially Joshua for the technical help behind the scenes, without you I would have a broken laptop screen. To Garreth at the Horowhenua District Council, thank you for your support this year and for helping me grow as a leader. I am so excited for the future of Youth Jobs New Zealand and many more things to come.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support.

By Liam

Nga Rangitahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative

AYV Nga Rangitahi

Our award-winning, one-to-one mentoring projects match up rangatahi (youth) who have been excluded from mainstream education with some of the top creative talent that Aotearoa has to offer. We engage with rangatahi through creative arts, develop life skills and social skills and reconnect them with their history, cultural identity and communities. As a result, rangatahi learn to re-think their life experience, transition into tertiary education and become leaders in their own peer groups and communities.

Below is a poem from one of the rangatahi, Kahurangi Manuel.

Oh Mumma

Armour apron strings kitchens aroma
oven mitts protects flour mill sacks
towel shoulders sticky dough hands

Fresh baked jars of sweets
nutty loafs filling tarts berry red lips
tasty spoons chocolate cupcake treats

Oh Mumma dear

Cushions soft bed cover nights sleeping child
Night moon shines me in oh mumma's arms
love laying still that's who we are

Ulan oil smooths ages time and toil
young mirror grey hair brush tied back and loose at times
Forget me not garden grows water fall memories rushing flow

Present gift of past future time and place now is who you are? and who I am?
where time goes by day by day grasping blank looks
Love locked hearts metal case pictures click you and me forever oh mumma to eternity

This poem is dedicated to two special people Martha & Kyrin - love you both from Kahurangi Manuel

YOUR stories

This month's theme is Youth Volunteering. In this section you can read stories written by AYV members about their volunteering projects around the country.

If you'd like to contribute to the Aotearoa Youth Voices newsletter, email us any time on

These stories are written by young people for young people, the Ministries of Youth Development and Social Development do not implicitly or impliedly endorse the views presented in this publication unless otherwise stated.

Youth Volunteering Summit in Nelson

AYV Youth Volunteering Nelson

Nelson is a great place to grow up and there is just as much happening in youth volunteering as there is on Nelson's beaches, mountain bike tracks and city streets. In July 2014, Volunteer Nelson organised a Youth Volunteering Summit, which brought all sorts of people together to grow youth volunteering.

Youth volunteering is ‘doing things for free that make life more awesome' according to Jason Pemberton, who helped set up the Christchurch Student Volunteer Army. He was the guest speaker at the Summit and his story inspired local Nelson College for Girls student Sophie Ross to think about what could be done in Nelson. Jason described how students had created a system from scratch in four days to log requests for help. His main message was that it's that sort of innovation, basically doing what was thought to be impossible, that youth can do best.

Sophie's Vision for Youth Volunteering

AYV Sophie and Ross

"Hello, my name is Sophie Ross and I am a student at Nelson College for Girls. After attending the Nelson Youth Volunteer Summit I gained a greater appreciation for the benefits of volunteering - in particular volunteering involving youth. I feel now more than ever it is important that communities are connected and that young people are integrated and involved".

Photo: Sophie Ross

Youth Leadership Symposium on Volunteering

AYV Youth Leadership Symposium

From 21 to 24 of November, I participated in the First New Zealand / US Youth Leadership Symposium on Volunteering and Crisis Preparedness down in Christchurch. The symposium was organized by the University of Canterbury, the US Embassy, and Student Volunteer Army (SVA) Foundation.

I gained so much from the symposium, built strong friendships, and made good connections. Thank you to Dr. Billy O'Steen and Sam Johnson for making the event possible.

Auckland University Students' Association is currently on the process of starting its own SVA and if you're interested to get involved in a leadership or support role, email me at

By Michael Madziva

Photo: Gap filler garden clean up task

Waipuna Hospice Concert Enjoyed By All

On Thursday 16 October, students from Tauranga Girls' College held their third concert for patients at the Waipuna Hospice, a care centre in Te Puna for the terminally ill. The concert involved singing, dancing, music and drama, showcasing some of the diverse talent at Tauranga Girls' College, and lightening the day of both the patients in the audience and the performers involved.

The idea for the concert initially came about through my involvement in Youth Parliament. This is a nation-wide mock parliament experience where college students are selected to represent a local Member of Parliament for a Tenure. During this tenure the Youth Parliamentarians were encouraged to organise a community project, and for my project I decided on the Waipuna Hospice Concert. This project seemed fitting considering my representation of Minister of Health, the Honourable Tony Ryall, as well as considering I had recently met the CEO of the Hospice, Richard Thurlow, who encouraged me to get involved. Also, I have always seen the Waipuna Hospice as an incredible tribute to health and kindness in the Bay of Plenty and to be involved in their story is an honour.

The first concert, held late in 2013, was such a success that I was asked to organise another one in 2014, and yet another one later this year as well.

The amount of effort put into organising the concert seems insignificant considering the joy me and the performers have been able to give to the patients, and the huge rewards of the gift of giving.

My involvement with the Waipuna Hospice has been truly spectacular and boundlessly rewarding - I saw an opportunity to make a positive impact in my local community and never looked back!

By Emily McCarthy

UN First Global Forum on Youth Policies

AYV Henriette Macneil

One of our Aotearoa Youth Voices members and the co-ordinator of the Southland District Youth Council, Henrietta MacNeil was the New Zealand representative at the UN First Global Forum on Youth Policies. She tells us about her time in Azerbaijan.

From 28 to 30 October 2014, I attended the UN's First Global Forum on Youth Policies as the only policy expert on youth from New Zealand. I joined 200 other experts, and 500 ministers and UN officials, including the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, to discuss youth policies across the globe: their successes and failures, ways to support policy development and inclusive participation by young people, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. All aspects of New Zealand policy could be more inclusive of youth participation – youth policies and strategies should be youth-led to ensure the empowerment of our young people. Instead of being tokenistic, youth involvement should be genuine and should happen right from the conception stage of a policy or strategy. The Baku Commitment to Youth Policies was launched at the forum, calling for greater inclusiveness and promotion of civic engagement with youth. I have taken many lessons from the forum, and will be calling upon central and local government to include young people more in decision-making and development of policies.

By Henrietta MacNeil

Volunteering at St John

AYV St John Agnes

Many young people today make a positive contribution to their community through volunteering. It fosters community engagement, and provides a sense of social connectedness and belonging. In return, the communities gain a generation of young people who care about where they live, and are willing to make a commitment and difference. Volunteering is a rewarding activity for many young people and there are many life-long benefits associated with this selfless act.

My personal volunteering experiences are predominantly with an organisation that I have been part of for nine years. St John New Zealand has been running a youth programme for over 85 years. The programme has a mission to provide a safe and secure environment where young people learn first aid, health care, self-discipline and general life skills.

By Agnes Wong

Photo: Agnes Wong (L) and Emily Lau (R) – youth leaders at St John and lifelong friends.

The Ministries of Youth Development and Social Development do not implicitly or impliedly endorse the views presented in this publication unless otherwise stated.

Coming up in the next few months…

We've got the Prime Minister's Youth Programme in January, and a visit from a Japanese youth delegation as part of Ship for World Youth in February, and we're really excited a group of young people will be participating in the Gallipoli 100th ANZAC anniversary in April. We'll keep you posted on all this in our upcoming issues.

Remember if you'd like to contribute or give us any feedback then let us know on