Youth Minister Nikki Kaye today announced the recipients of the 2017 New Zealand Youth Awards.

“These awards recognise young New Zealanders who’ve achieved outstanding results and given back to their communities, as well as those who’ve made a significant contribution towards supporting young people,” says Ms Kaye.

“This year we received around 190 nominations and tonight 50 people and organisations will receive awards at a ceremony held at Parliament.

“Individual winners include young people who’ve led the integration of refugees into their local community; organised events which put their region’s food producers on the map, cleaned up local beaches or championed the revitalisation of Te Reo Maori; developed a project to improve decision-making in search and rescue; and formed groups to address domestic violence in migrant communities, or increase awareness in the medical curriculum of LGBTI health issues.

“Group winners include ‘Handle the Jandal’, a ‘by youth, for youth’ movement that aims to unleash the potential of Polynesian youth leadership in South Auckland; and Kawerau Youth Council, who provide a voice for local youth issues and encourage youth participation in civic affairs.

“There are eight categories of awards overall, celebrating qualities such as leadership, giving back and being a change maker.

“This year, I introduced a new category, the Youth Enterprise Award, which recognises the demonstration of business acumen, innovation and social responsibility.

“The calibre of the award winners in this category was outstanding, with the recipients including a number of under 20-year-olds who have founded successful businesses which have achieved significant social or business impact, both locally and internationally.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see the way these young leaders and entrepreneurs have embraced new technology and social media, to develop innovative new approaches to achieve their business or social vision.

“When you look at the drive, skills, compassion and integrity evident in the winners across all the categories, it’s clear that our young people have enormous talent and potential, and the future of our country is in safe hands.

“As Youth Minister, I’m thrilled to be able to provide opportunities to inspire, encourage and celebrate the achievements of our young people and those who support them.

“I encourage everyone to check out the winners and read about their accomplishments, to see the great things they’re doing.”

Details of award winners and more information about the 2017 New Zealand Youth Awards are available here.

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