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NZ Delegation To UN Session For Children Announced

24 August 2001


New Zealand’s delegation to the UN Special Session on Children in New York next month is to include two specially selected young people, Social Services Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Seventeen-year old Tekerei Moka from Christchurch and twelve-year old Jessica Dewan from Auckland are to be included in the 5 member delegation which will be led by Mr Maharey. Other members are the Commissioner for Children, Roger McLay and John Angus, a senior child, family and community manager from the Ministry of Social Policy. Trish Grant from the office of the Commissioner of Children will accompany and advise Tekerei and Jessica.

Mr Maharey said more than 250 young people applied to the Ministry of Youth Affairs for the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the New York Summit and the selection panel found it difficult to choose out of the number of high quality applicants.

“Tekerei and Jessica stood out for their contributions to their communities and their commitment to improving the circumstances of those around them. They are both exceptional young people who I am certain will make New Zealanders proud when they contribute to this important forum on the rights of children.

"As well as participating in the main session, Tekerei and Jessica will also take part in a Children’s Forum aimed at celebrating children’s rights and to identify ways to influence leaders on programmes designed to benefit children.

"The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children on 19 – 21 September is a follow-up to the 1990 World Summit for Children where the 10 year Action Plan for the Survival, Protection and Development of Children was agreed. The Special Session will focus on a renewed commitment and pledge for specific actions for the coming decade,” Steve Maharey said.

The two young peoples’ trip to New York has been funded by Save the Children, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Te Puni Kokiri, the Commissioner for Children and the Ministry of Social Policy. The New Zealand Delegation will depart for New York on 17 September.


Profiles


Te Kerei Moka

Te Kerei is 17 years old and lives in Christchurch where he attends Aranui High School. He is involved in a number of activities within the Maori, Youth and Sports community. Te Kerei is the eldest boy of seven children. He is valued particularly for the work he does for other young people.

Jessica Dewan

Jessica is twelve years old and lives in Mangere Bridge, Auckland. She is a New Zealand citizen of Tongan and Fijian/Indian descent. Her teachers describe her as a pupil who stands out as a leader and a peacemaker within the community. As well as being heavily involved in school leadership activities she has a commitment to helping those in need in her community.

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