Child and youth voice research findings

The Aotearoa Youth Declaration 2021

AUTHOR: UN Youth New Zealand

This Report captures feedback from 130 young people involved in a multi-day conference. It highlights the key priorities that rangatahi would like to see addressed .  The young people identified and ranked three solution statements under each theme:

  • Arts, culture and heritage: Mana Maori Motuhake; National curriculum reform centred in te Ao maori. Intersectional representation in all art forms
  • Covid-19 recovery: Equal access to educational and online opportunities; Strong public communications campaign about vaccines; increase in mental health services; prepare health system for future pandemics; equitable recovery plan for businesses
  • Education: Curriculum centred on student needs; a new funding model to reduce stigma: unbiassed NZ history; equitable access to online resources and mental health support; incentivise teaching pathways and create more tailored learning environments
  • Environment and climate change: restore and protect marine and freshwater environments; Te Tiriti led environmental management strategies; incentivising and expanding public transport and cycleways; and holding corporations accountable for emissions; raising awareness of individual's carbon footprint
  • Governance: MMP system update; establish a written constitution that supports existing documents, including Te Tiriti; widen and empower voter rights and engagement
  • International relations: climate protection advocacy in trade agreements; strengthen commitments to and investment in our Pacific neighbours; increase our cultural connections to the world through increased language learning opportunities and increased refugee quota
  • Maori relations: Address racism in criminal justice system and increas funding for restorative justice and reintegration methods; give the Waitangi Tribunal binding power and include Te Tiriti in law; make Te reo and tikanga mandatory until year 11
  • Science and technology: Upskill workers and incentivise learning to mitigate against threat of automation; more funding for R&D; encourage diversity and equity in STEM learning; increase accessibility, understanding and transparency in science
  • Social development: a change in punitive Work and Income culture; more meaningful support for applicants of the benefit;  a redefinition of legitimate ‘work’ currently recognised by Work and Income;
  • Improve quality and accessibility of State housing; prioritised housing and wraparound support for homeless; involve impacted groups to address community integration and societal inclusion.

The Report is designed for public and decision-makers to use, to inform them of the issues and challenges that are of concern and significance to young people,
and most importantly the solutions they want to see.  Within the report, each of the three solution statements identifies the problem, and offers a tangible course of action.

Read the full report

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