Youth Voice

Young people have consistently told us that they want their voice heard in the decisions that impact them and their future. They must be supported and enabled to be part of the conversation about shaping a productive, sustainable and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. MYD has an important part to play in bringing youth voice to the table.

Youth Advisory Group - Applications are now CLOSED

Applications to the MYD Youth Advisory Group have now closed - thank you to all who applied!

MYD is seeking applications from young people aged 18-24 years to join its new Youth Advisory Group (YAG).

Are you interested in making a difference? Being a voice on behalf of your friends, whānau, community and other young people in Aotearoa New Zealand? Do you want to have your voice heard in government and start shaping what the future looks like?

We are looking for a group of young people to support us with specific projects that will help to embed youth voice into government decision-making. Your first project will be to help us review the government’s Youth Plan 2020-2022: Turning Voice into Action – Rebuilding and Recovering (Youth Plan).

The YAG will provide you with a valuable and unique opportunity to engage in key pieces of work with central government, with strong connections to the government’s overarching Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. There will also be opportunities to share your voice directly with the Minister for Youth.

If this sounds like you, then apply now!

Applications close at 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 May 2022.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of June 2022.

Guidelines for applying

Who can apply:

  • Applications are welcomed from young people aged between 18 – 24 years who live in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • We are particularly keen to appoint people who can represent a community/interest group and are able to bring that voice to the table.
  • It would be great if some young people in the group have prior experience working with or in government. However, this is not required for all members.

How much time will it take?

The YAG will operate for 12 months, from July 2022 to June 2023, and will meet approximately six times during July and August 2022 (a combination of in-person and online) for the review of the Youth Plan.

We know young people have busy lives, and some will have holidays in July, so we will work with you to try and find the best times to meet.

The meeting schedule for other projects is yet to be determined but is unlikely to require the YAG meeting more than once or twice a month.

You will be paid for your time and supported to travel to in-person hui.

How to apply

If you’re interested in applying to be part of our YAG, please send the following information to us via email at

Personal details
  • Full name
  • Date of birth (you must be aged between 18-24 years as at 04 May 2022)
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Languages you speak
A little bit about the skills and experiences you’d bring to the YAG

Some things to include might be:

  • Are there any community or interest groups you are connected with? What is your involvement or role in these groups? For example, groups such as sports, church, youth groups, marae, music etc.
  • Have you held any leadership roles before? Have you been involved in any youth advisory or participation groups, or student or youth councils, or worked with government, that you haven’t mentioned above?
  • Do you identify with any of the priority communities the Youth Plan has a particular focus on (rangatahi Māori, and Pacific, rainbow, and disabled young people)?
We want to make sure we’ve got a good mix of young people in our group so help us get to know you better
  • Introduce yourself and your superpower – tell us about what’s important to you! What do you think young people need to live their best lives? What would it take to make your community the best place for young people to grow up in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Feel free to get creative with this part of your application if you want! You could submit a short TikTok or reel (no more than 60 seconds), take some photos, paint or draw a picture (submitted as a jpeg), create spoken word poetry, or just write it all down if that works better for you!

Project DMs – Insight Gathering and Youth Wellbeing Micro-Campaign Report

The Project DMs – Insight Gathering and Youth Wellbeing Micro-Campaign Report was made possible through a partnership between the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) – Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi, Te Hiringa Hauora, and creative agency, Curative. Led by Te Hiringa Hauora as an action under the government’s Youth Plan, Project DMs aims to understand the experiences and needs of rangatahi Māori and Pasifika young people transitioning out of school amidst the global complexity of COVID-19. These young people are at a point of transition in their lives, a stage in their life where freedom, personal agency, responsibility, and resilience increasingly evolve.

Between September 2020 and February 2021, insights were gathered through design research, listening, making, and testing to arrive at a clear sense of how the wellbeing of young people can best be supported. Project DMs has revealed there are significant opportunities to better support the wellbeing of rangatahi Māori and Pasifika young people in transition.

Experiences of COVID-19 for takatāpui, queer, gender diverse, and intersex young people aged 16-24 years Report

MYD commissioned this research to better understand the experiences of rainbow rangatahi aged 16-24 years of COVID-19, and Alert Levels 3 and 4 and the pandemic in general. The Report aimed to understand the enablers, needs, challenges, and barriers for young people and the impact COVID-19 will have on their futures. It looked at what young people need to improve their futures to help guide government, policymakers, and people who work with young people and the wider sector.

Data was collected in October 2020 using an online survey, a roundtable of Rainbow organisations, interviews, and a focus group. Participation was encouraged and advertised on Facebook and Instagram and was also promoted on MYD’s social media channels and by various rainbow organisations.

This report is a first step towards setting out those needs and aims to provide a pathway for policymakers and community organisations who work with and for rainbow young people.

Negotiating Multiple Identities: Intersecting Identities among Māori, Pacific, Rainbow and Disabled Young People Report

Intersectionality provides us with a lens that assists us in understanding the overlapping of multiple identities and relations to more than one group. It helps us to see how our memberships to multiple groups shape us individually. The interconnectedness of culture, circumstance and sexuality plays a part in the way in which minorities are perceived, treated, and often disadvantaged.

The Negotiating Multiple Identities: Intersecting Identities among Māori, Pacific, Rainbow and Disabled Young People Report (the Report), funded by the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) – Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi, sheds light on the importance of understanding the way in which intersectionality impacts on the rangatahi across various intersectionalities. This understanding can be used to better support future generations.

This Report is part of the Youth19 Rangatahi Smart Survey (Youth19), which is the latest in the Youth2000 series of health and wellbeing surveys.

Youth Engagement Zoom Hui Report

On 04 March 2021, the Minister for Youth Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan hosted a Youth Engagement Zoom Hui (Zhui) with over 130 rangatahi, youth workers and youth sector organisation representatives from the Auckland region. The Zhui was organised by the Ministry for Youth Development (MYD) – Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi.

The Zhui was in response to the COVID-19 community outbreak in Auckland. It gave participants an opportunity to ask questions of a panel and talk about the challenges they were experiencing as a result of Alert Level changes, and discuss three different topics.

After the Q & A session with the panel and the topic discussion, Zhui participants were encouraged to send through additional questions, so they could be answered after the event. We have arranged the questions under key themes and have provided answers from relevant government agencies in the attached document entitled ‘Youth Engagement Zoom Hui Report (the Report)’. The answers contained within this Report were provided in April 2021 by relevant agencies and represent a moment in time.

Youth Pulse Check Survey

Launched during Lockdown, the Youth Pulse Check Survey provided an opportunity to hear directly from rangatahi on how they were managing during lockdown and how government could support them during the different COVID-19 Alert phases, including the post-COVID-19 recovery. The online survey was open between 18 April and 16 May 2020 and over 2,650 rangatahi participated.

Smiling group of young people sitting or crouching down together

Download the Youth Pulse Check Survey results slides here.

Download the Youth Pulse Check Survey A3 snapshot here.

Disclaimer: This survey was not intended to be an accurate representative sample. The survey was conducted online, and data has not been weighted against the Aotearoa New Zealand population, so results will be biased to those over-represented. These results cannot be generalised to the total population aged 12 to 24 years.