New Zealand Youth Awards

The 2019 New Zealand Youth Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the passion, success and commitment of rangatahi (aged 12 to 24 years), who are leading change, innovating and creating solutions throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

2019 New Zealand Youth Awards Recipients Announced

The recipients of the 2019 New Zealand Youth Awards were announced by Minister for Youth Hon Peeni Henare at a celebration event which took place on 24 June at Parliament. The Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern was also there to present The Prime Minister's Exemplar Award to two deserving young people. Altogether, 14 outstanding rangatahi were recognised across seven Awards categories.

The Prime Minister's Exemplar Award

  • Jess Rose Collins (21, Palmerston North) is passionate about supporting Māori mental health and preventing suicide.
  • Aroha Lawrence (20, Kaikohe) a community leader and champion for differently abled rangatahi.

Te Manukura - Leadership Award

  • Irihapeti Edwards (20, Whangarei/Auckland) is a champion of global citizenship and youth participation.
  • Fahad Shehzad (17, Auckland) is a young Muslim student at Mt Roskill Grammar School who stepped up and guided his school’s response to the Christchurch Mosque attacks.

Te Raukura - Inclusion Award

  • Jaskiran Kaur Rahi (12, Wellington) created her social enterprise Spirit and Soul to empower young girls to explore career opportunities such as STEM, the Police, and the Armed Services.
  • Rongxue Shen (22, Auckland) initiated a project called WNZW (WǒMen: New Zealand Women) which seeks to empower and inspire women from ethnic minorities to pursue leadership roles.

Taiao - Commitment to the Environment Award

  • Niels Grosmann (17, Auckland) is a creative problem-solver who uses his technical know-how to solve real-world environmental issues.
  • Sophie Handford (18, Kāpiti) is a young environmentalist who organised the first New Zealand School Strike 4 Climate which was held on 15 March 2019 and engaged 20,000 young people in climate action.

Mahi Tahi - Collective Award

  • Teresa Lee (20, Waitematā) is a young Chinese-New Zealander who is passionate about youth empowerment, diverse leadership and inclusivity.
  • Robin Kapeteni (20, Manurewa) is a youth leader in South Auckland and integral to the development and delivery of MYSTORY, which entails youth-focused events designed to give space to young people to share their stories.

Auaha - Innovation Award

  • Grace Stratton (19, Auckland) is described as passionate, innovative and driven to bring the fashion/beauty industry and the disability community together.
  • Christina Min (17, Auckland) is passionate about supporting low-vision children and created Touch to Read, an initiative which creates tactile children’s books for pre-school children with low vision.

Tūao - Volunteer Award

  • Petra Jellyman (16, Kaikōura) has been a member of the Kaikōura Youth Council since 2013, an Assistant Brownie leader with GirlGuiding NZ, and a member of the GirlGuiding NZ Ranger Advocacy Panel.
  • Rawhiti Erstich-Coles (18, Kaikohe) is a representative on the Students Against Dangerous Driving National Committee, a youth mentor and a member of the Far North Youth Council.

Detailed biographies of each recipient are available here.

2019 New Zealand Youth Awards Recipients Video

Loading the video player...

If you cannot see the video player you may not have JavaScript enabled in your browser or Adobe Flash video is too old or not installed. To see the video please use a browser with JavaScript enabled and/or install the Adobe Flash video plugin.

You can install the Flash player plugin here Get Adobe Flash player

You can download the New Zealand Youth Awards 2019 Recipients video here. Size 7.40Mb.