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Youth Awards winners announced

Nikki Kaye

I am pleased to announce the names of the recipients of the 2016 Youth Awards.

The Youth Awards recognise young people who’ve made outstanding contributions to their communities, as well as people who’ve supported or championed young people.

Once again we received a large number of nominations, with around 160 people and organisations put forward. Of these, forty-five recipients will receive awards at a ceremony being held at Parliament later today.

Young Samaritans

Individual winners include the co-founder and lead developer of financial education software which helps kids learn about money in a fun and engaging way; a 17-year-old volunteer fire-fighter who in his spare time also helps out with Coastguard and Land Search and Rescue; and a young woman who supports young people with disabilities to take part in music-based fitness and exercise programmes.

Group winners include Sticks ‘n Stones, a group of students who’ve set up a website and run workshops to help young people stay safe online and avoid cyber-bullying, and the Tahuna Pa Boys, a group of young men who’ve overcome obstacles in their own lives to help others in their community via a marae-based youth space.

All up there are nine award categories, which celebrate qualities such as leadership and recognise activities in areas including supporting others, and creating positive change in local communities, the arts, culture, sport and the environment.

Strengthened Scheme

This year, after feedback from youth organisations, I strengthened the awards by introducing three sub-categories to the change maker award: cultural, community safety and LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) change maker. This means we can specifically recognise achievements in these areas.

The new categories reflect the large number of nominations received last year and interest in recognising people throughout society.

I encourage everyone to read about the award recipients, who demonstrate there are many young New Zealanders contributing to their communities and inspiring others.

In my view, there are many other young people making a difference too who we don’t always hear about.

These awards are about recognising some extraordinary young people, but also taking a moment to reflect on the positive contribution that so many young New Zealanders are making.

Details of award recipients and more information about the 2016 Youth Awards are available here.

2016 Youth Awards categories

Change Maker Award

For young people who have created positive change to foster cultural understanding in their community (Cultural Change Maker); in or for the LGBTI community (LGBTI Change Maker); which results in a safer environment for young people in their community (Community Safety Change Maker).

Leadership Award

For young people who’ve demonstrated leadership in a project or organisation.

Giving Back Award

For young people whose actions address a current need and have had a significant impact on their community.

Working for Youth Award

For young people whose actions specifically support other young people in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, environment or sport.

Youth with Disability Award

For young people with a disability who’ve made a significant contribution to the disability sector and/or their community.

Youth Group Award

For a group of young people who’ve made a significant contribution to their community in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, environment or sport.

Youth Champion Award

For an individual or organisation who has made a significant contribution to their community in areas such as (but not limited to) the arts, culture, education, environment, health, research or sport.

Nikki Kaye is Youth Minister of New Zealand

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