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Leaders Of Tomorrow? Leaders For Today! Youth Week Kicks Off With A BANG At The Parliament Launch Event

For the first time Youth Week launched at Parliament! It was glorious! The event, hosted by the Hon Willow-Jean Prime, Minister for Youth, which was attended by some exceptional young people, youth organisations, MPs and youth workers, held an opportunity for everyone to come together and officially open this week-long celebration of rangatahi (young people) across the motu. Youth were front and centre of the launch celebration, as the MCs, performers, and some of the speakers.

Youth Week is the annual festival of events held every May to celebrate the rangatahi of Aotearoa. Youth organisations across the motu are hosting events with rangatahi this week 15-21 May. Rangatahi are leading, co-designing, or hosting a range of events, from poetry nights, art workshops, sporting events, debate competitions, to outdoor movie nights. This year’s Youth Week theme focuses on youth leadership of today! Rangatira mō āpōpō? Rangatira i tēnei rā! Leaders of tomorrow? Leaders for today!

“Youth Week is a wonderful opportunity to honour and celebrate our rangatahi. They’re exceptional leaders with much to teach those of us that are youth adjacent. By using the Mana Taiohi principles and listening to our rangatahi, we can work collaboratively to create many solutions for what’s happening in our world today," says Jane Zintl, Ara Taiohi CEO.

There are increasingly diverse ways that our rangatahi connect and interact with each other and those in their worlds. This year, along with events held in hapori around the motu, there are also loads of social media challenges and activities throughout the week.

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The Youth Week team at Ara Taiohi is also hosting a TikTok challenge. Rangatahi have the chance to win $500 by creating unique content to some sweet beats, courtesy of local legends David Atai from Nesian Mystik, Crescendo Trust, and Creationkit of 216 Studio. To find out more, head to the Youth Week TikTok channel: @YouthWeekNZ

The youth led aspects of Youth Week have been supported by Te Whatu Ora (previously Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency). The Youth Week Campaign Lead, Talei Bryant reflects that ‘running a nationwide campaign with a team of rangatahi is one of the most uplifting experiences I have been a part of. Even better is seeing the youth week theme and design plastered everywhere’.

Alongside the online space, there are events happening in hapori across the motu. See what’s happening in your area at youthweek.org.nz

Some of the events listed on the website were funded through a Youth Week Grant. The Youth Week team was overwhelmed by the positive community responses to producing events around the motu, with over 100 events receiving the Youth Week grant contributions from the Ministry of Youth Development - Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi, Ihi Aotearoa/Sport New Zealand, and Te Rourou (One Aotearoa Foundation) with numerous other events being supported by their local organisations. It is amazing to see local communities looking to celebrate their rangatahi by enabling opportunities for youth-led events.

There’s also a Youth Week playlist to listen to on Spotify. This playlist is in collaboration with New Zealand Music Month and celebrates rangatahi artists across Aotearoa. Search Youth Week 2023 for the playlist. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5VTqDrbhB2ENf9dc676jQE?si=9bca7b998e9b4644

To find out more about Youth Week, go to youthweek.org.nz

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