Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Student Wins National Championship With Speech On NZ’s Divided Past, United Future

A student of Ngāti Kahungunu and Pākehā heritage has won a nationwide competition using her own identity as a metaphor for the past and future of race relations in New Zealand.

“Racism exists here,” said Jess Jenkins, a year 13 student at Tawa College.

Jess Jenkins - National Champion of the Race Unity Speech Awards 2020

“As a Māori with white skin, I don't experience it but it pains me that so many people who are close to me do. Just as my white ancestors fought my Māori ones, racism exists here. We must first face the blatant separation occurring within society today to secure our ideal racism-free future.”

The Race Unity Speech Awards give senior high school students a chance to express their views on race relations in Aotearoa. “Holding the Speech Awards online this year is a great opportunity to harness and amplify the potency of young people’s voices even more,” said Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha from the New Zealand Police.

“We’re very proud to be principal sponsors of the conduit that allows powerful race unity dialogue to continue, no matter what the platform.”

Jenkins’ speech also won her the NZ Baha’i Community Award for Insight. The Baha’i community – organiser of the speech competition since 2001 – established the Award for Insight this year to recognise a speaker who helps us understand the oneness of humanity.

“Jess distinguishes between our naive self-image as a unified society and the true unity we should be striving for,” says Huti Watson, the Baha’i representative on the judging panel.

“She helps us understand the necessity of justice for achieving true unity, reinforcing our hope that we can realise the oneness of humanity here in Aotearoa.”

Jenkins’ speech set out her vision for the future of race relations. “In 20 years from now, we must reach a place where we are all equal, a mutual agreement where every citizen is treated for their contributions, their achievements. … This is the future we need to envision.”

For the first time ever, the National Final of the Race Unity Speech Awards was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. Journalist and TV presenter Miriama Kamo was the MC for the national final.

This year’s Speech Awards also celebrate of Youth Week (9-17 May), which has the theme “E kōrero ana mātou. E whakarongo ana koutou? | We’re speaking. Are you listening?”

Last year national finalist Takunda Muzondiwa’s speech 'Dear Racism' went viral, receiving over 1.5 million views.

About the Awards

The Race Unity Speech Awards are organised by the New Zealand Baha’i Community[AM1] , a religious community concerned with promoting the oneness of humanity at the local, national and international levels. The Awards are sponsored by NZ Police (principal sponsor), the Human Rights Commission, the Office of Ethnic Communities, te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission), Speech New Zealand, the Hedi Moani Charitable Trust, Studio Marque and the Manukau Institute of Technology.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal

Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>

Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>


National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>


Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>

Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>


Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>


Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels