Aotearoa Youth Declaration – UN Youth – Register by 7th MARCH!

Posted on March 6, 2020

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Aotearoa Youth Declaration is UN Youth’s flagship civic education conference. We gather participants age 13-18 (Years 9-13) from all over Aotearoa to write the Youth Declaration, which represents a youth perspective on public policy. During the conference, participants work in targeted Rōpū (groups) to create policy solutions on a broad range of problems. Each Rōpū examines one or two issues in Aotearoa, such as access to voting, child poverty, or Te Reo in schools. Each Rōpū contributes a solution to their issue, and these solutions comprise the Aotearoa Youth Declaration document. The Aotearoa Youth Declaration document is passed on to decision-makers (MPs, local Councils and Boards, and influential people) to help them decide what decisions to make.


We are a non-profit organisation that provides civics education outside the traditional classroom context. Through fun workshops and conferences, we engage youth in the most pressing affairs of their country and the international community. Our goal is to inspire young New Zealanders to be active citizens. Global citizenship exists in an incredibly diverse range of forms, and UN Youth provides opportunities for rangatahi to develop their own form of active citizenship. Throughout Aotearoa, our work equips young people to become informed, engaged, and critical New Zealanders who understand their global context and the connections between the local and the global. Annually, over 3000 young New Zealanders from Northland to Southland attend a UN Youth event, run by a body of 150 volunteers across the country who dedicate many hours of their time to engaging young people and growing the organisation.


Participants will:

  • Engage in collaborative discussions to develop a deeper understanding of issues.
  • Develop creative, practical solutions to a topic of interest to them.
  • Be challenged to tackle the largest social, economic and cultural issues in Aotearoa.
  • Develop a better understanding of Aotearoa and the world.
  • Learn valuable skills such as active citizenship, communication, and teamwork.
  • Have an amazing, formative experience and make lifelong friends.


Rōpū: Participants are placed in groups of 14-18 that will focus on a specific issue, like Healthcare, Economic Development, Youth Development, or Science & Engineering (there are 18 different groups!). Rōpū get to know each other through ice-breakers and working together. They develop solutions by gaining knowledge and sharing ideas.

Outreach: To give participants insight into real issues and solutions, they visit an organization that works in a relevant area. In the past, participants have done a beach clean up, toured Ministries and Councils, and volunteered at a food rescue organisation.

Industry speakers: An expert industry speaker will be able to discuss a different aspect of their Rōpū topic and give different ideas to participants.

Workshops: Participants attend workshops on the topics of Identity (identities, privilege, and oppression), Tikanga (encompassing Tikanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi), Civics (Aotearoa’s political processes), Regional Action (community development), and Active Citizenship (how to turn your power into action).

The social evening: A fun time for participants to get to know others, have nibbles, do some dancing, and take some nice photos with their friends.