My education, my voice

The Ministerial Youth Advisory Group gives young people aged 14-18 the chance to have their say about education in New Zealand.


My Education, My Voice - video transcript

Background music plays: Reaching New Heights by Vincent Tone.

Youth Advisory Group member Costa Blackman is sitting on a park bench outside the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Costa Blackman: Kāti, tēnā tātou. Ko Titirangi te maunga. Ko Ūawanui-a-Ruamatua te awa. Ko Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti te iwi.

Costa Blackman: Kia ora. My name is Costa Blackman and I am lucky enough to be one member out of twelve to be a part of the Youth Advisory Group for Chris Hipkins.

Costa interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Watene Campbell: And man, it’s been a wonderful journey along the way. Personally for me, I’ve been able to voice my thoughts and opinions about my culture, about my identity, and who I am as a Māori in this country.

Watene interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Kate Morris: The most rewarding part of the Youth Advisory Group this year for me was definitely the feeling of really doing something and really making a change and I think that was because of the amazing other participants in the Youth Advisory Group, the facilitators, and also just all the people that came and talked to us made us feel so valued so I really liked that feeling.

Kate sits beside Hadassah Wharawhara in Ministry of Education area as she talks. She interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Shaneel Lal: Minister Hipkins was great to work with because he’s a very humble person. He can really understand where we’re coming from and is very neutral and does not have judgment with people from different backgrounds.

Shaneel sits beside Liam McLeavey in the Ministry of Education foyer as he talks. He interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in a Ministry of Education meeting room in national office in Wellington.

Okirano Tilaia: I felt like my voice is being heard. As a Pacific Islander that’s really important. The values that I bring. The soft skills that I bring from my culture and know in myself. The sense of belonging. I’ve left every meeting with Chris Hipkins, the NCEA providers, feeling like I’ve said everything I’ve wanted to say and that’s advice I’d like to give to the 2019 YAG group. Always leave the room knowing that you’ve said everything you’ve wanted to say.

Okirano sits beside Geniqua Samupo and Nathan Farr in Ministry of Education meeting room as he talks. He interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Abby McRoberts: The greatest part of being part of the Youth Advisory Group is it makes so much sense because as students we know best what it is like to be in the New Zealand education system. So it was such a genuine opportunity to have our say and voice our opinions.

Abby sits beside Watene Campbell and Costa Blackman on park bench outside the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Brodie Cross: The most rewarding part for me seemed to have been the interaction that I had with Minister Hipkins on a regular basis and getting to find out what happens behind the scenes.

Brodie sits in front of Shaneel Lal and Liam McLeavey in the Ministry of Education foyer as he talks. He interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in a Ministry of Education meeting room in national office in Wellington.

Liam McLeavey: Oh and the sausage rolls in his office were pretty good too.

Liam sits beside Shaneel Lal as he talks.

Geniqua Samupo: I have a lot of younger up and coming siblings and cousins and so being a part of this will majorly impact their lives so I’m happy to be part of YAG.

Geniqua sits beside Okirano Tilaia and Nathan Farr in Ministry of Education meeting room as she talks. She also interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Liam McLeavey: The most rewarding part of being in the 2018 Youth Advisory Group is actually being part of a bigger conversation about how we can change education for the better for our country and for our people.

Liam sits beside Shaneel Lal in the Ministry of Education foyer as he talks. He interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in a Ministry of Education meeting room in national office in Wellington.

Nathan Farr: Being able to have a say in things that will be affecting the education of the youth of New Zealand and being able to share our thoughts and not being afraid of people being angry at what we say.

Nathan sits beside Okirano Tilaia and Geniqua Samupo in a Ministry of Education meeting room as he talks. He interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Hadassah Wharawhara: Getting to meet students and your peers from all around New Zealand. Getting to hear the different insights and perspectives and seeing what makes them unique.

Hadassah sits beside Kate Morris in a Ministry of Education area as she talks. She interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Kate Morris: You know there’s such a diverse range of students all around the country and sometimes we forget about it because we’re stuck in the little bubble of our schools but I think it’s really opened my mind to the diversity of all the people and all the experiences that are out there in the education system.

Kate sits beside Hadassah Wharawhara in Ministry of Education area as she talks. She interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in meeting room in the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Abby McRoberts: So guys, I’m leaving the YAG for next year so I want to know, what do you guys want to talk about in your next meetings?

Abby receives a leaving gift from Minister Hipkins during Youth Advisory Group meeting. She sits beside Watene Campbell and Costa Blackman on park bench outside Ministry of Education as she talks.

Costa Blackman: I think in our next meetings, I think we want to still hold changing education so it fits our younger leaders.

Watene Campbell: For all you keen beans out there who are willing to share your thoughts and opinions about our education system. Nau mai piki mai whakakake mai.

Watene stands outside Youth Advisory Group meeting room in Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Liam McLeavey: I’d encourage everyone to get involved as much as you can in the Youth Advisory Group and join a much bigger conversation about how we can create an education system with young people.

Liam sits beside Shaneel Lal in the Ministry of Education foyer as he talks.

Shaneel Lal: I’m really looking forward to hearing more voices, more members of the youth, and telling more stories of invisible people in our education system.

Shaneel interacts with other Youth Advisory Group members and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins in a Ministry of Education meeting room in national office in Wellington.

Fade out.

Fade in to bloopers.

Costa Blackman: Have your say. Apply yourself to be a part of the Youth Advisory Group 20…..

Costa, Abby McRoberts and Watene Campbell interact with each other on a park bench outside the Ministry of Education and laugh when Costa makes a mistake.

Shaneel Lal: If you want to fly to Wellington four times a year, join the YAG.

Liam McLeavey: I don’t fly to Wellington.

Shaneel Lal: Well, you can still lie!

Liam McLeavey: I get a train.

Shaneel interacts with Liam McLeavey in the Ministry of Education foyer area and laughs with Liam.

Kate Morris: Kai te… no, I did it again…

Hadassah and Kate laugh together in an area inside the Ministry of Education national office.

Watene Campbell: Oh my God! Come on…

Watene makes a mistake and claps his hands while standing outside the Ministry of Education national office in Wellington.

Fade out.

Background music fades out.

Youth Advisory Group

Applications for the 2019 Youth Advisory Group are now closed.

Shortlisted members will be contacted by 21 November, so stay tuned.

The Minister will announce the final 2019 Youth Advisory Group members before Christmas.

This year, two young people will be selected to complete the Youth Advisory Group and join the 10 current members who were part of the 2018 Ministerial Youth Advisory Group.

Meet the 2018 Youth Advisory Group members

  • Shaneel Lal, Otahuhu College, South Auckland
  • Bevan Penn, Victoria University, Wellington
  • Abby McRoberts, Aotea College, Porirua
  • Liam McLeavey, Waiopehu College, Levin
  • Okirano Tilaia, Cashmere High School, Christchurch
  • Geniqua Samupo, Avondale College, West Auckland
  • Brodie Cross, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu | Correspondence School, Christchurch
  • Nathan Farr, Kings’ High School, Dunedin
  • Hadassah Wharawhara, Te Kāpehu Whetū, Kerikeri
  • Costa Blackman, Tolaga Bay Area School, Tolaga Bay
  • Kate Morris, Darfield High School, Darfield
  • Watene Campbell, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna, Wellington.

Find out more about each of the 2018 Youth Advisory Group members as they introduce themselves, in their own words.

Further information

Contact youth.voice@education.govt.nz

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