Innovation & Enterprise

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Innovation & Enterprise Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

9.1

We suggest a legal business definition for ‘social enterprise’ to mitigate the current limits to growth. To allow for social enterprises to have a more widespread impact, we suggest a legal definition that includes:

  1. Business objectives being outlined and approved through application;
  2. A requirement that profit is not a primary objective;
  3. Tax exemptions and broader investment conditions all monitored by a reporting system on financial and social goals.
9.2

We believe the lack of innovation within New Zealand industries, such as dairy, could lead to future market stagnation and economic dificulty. We advise the tax credit initiative implemented by the Government in 2008/2009 is extended to provide tax credits to companies that are using research and development (R&D) to improve their e ciency and sustainability. We see this as a cost-effective measure for government to encourage innovation.

9.3

New innovations such as blockchain, automation and AI have the potential to both transform the e ciency of New Zealand enterprise, and disrupt the future of jobs. We call on the Government to make upskilling and retraining accessible for youth and the existing workforce so our population can adapt. We suggest:

  1. Adapting existing Polytechnic programmes;
  2. Changing student loans and support requirements to increase accessibility for mature students.
9.4

We want to see government-funded incubators to support growth of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) beyond the initial start-up phase (defined as registering the business). In particular, support should be provided to SMEs affected by disruption from large national and international companies. Providing SMEs with similar innovation, community spaces and resources as start-up incubators will help New Zealand businesses stay competitive against international pressure.

9.5

We suggest increasing promotion of innovation based development schemes and the creation of country specific conversion processes for qualifications. This will help resolve the skill shortages identified by the 2018 revision of the New Zealand immigration skill shortage list. If we invest in the necessary workers, they will invest in New Zealand.

9.6

New Zealand has potential to be a great testing environment for new products and services. We recommend corporate tax rates for entry “tester” businesses are assigned revenue-based tax brackets. For example, one model could be for businesses with an annual income under $100k to have a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, and all those earning over $100k taxed at the normal rate of 28%. We also propose “tester” businesses are given access to a pool of highly-skilled New Zealanders in various fields and assistance to establish an HQ in New Zealand, to enable long-term international links for New Zealand businesses.

9.7

We suggest the government supports innovation in sustainable and re- generative technologies to further the impact of the Zero Carbon Act and other environmental initiatives. We want to see more open syndicated government contracts aimed at stimulating environmental research and innovation, and the establishment of government involved joint ventures for increasing innovation in the environmental sector.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Yasith and Josh, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

Science & Technology

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Science & Innovation Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

1.

We are concerned by the underrepresentation of women, Māori, Pacific Islanders, LGBTQIA+ and other minorities in STEM fields, and we suggest that proportional representation be achieved by methods such as, but not limited to:

  1. Exposing children at a younger age to STEM subjects, to challenge the current social perceptions of STEM as options for a future career;
  2. Increased media representation for minorities in STEM.
2.

We believe every student should have the opportunity to pursue quality STEM education regardless of socio-economic or regional differences. A substantial portion of STEM education in New Zealand takes the form of private initiatives or extracurriculars, which are not universally accessible. We advocate for nationwide publicly funded STEM initiatives focused on accessibility.

3.

We think children should be exposed to scientific ideas with an emphasis on inquiry, discussion, collaborative learning and critical thinking. We encourage the Ministry of Education to develop the curriculum to ensure that STEM subjects teach these skills, and have a more holistic approach.

4.

We recognise that sustainable technologies will underpin industries of the future. We urge the promotion and development of sustainable technologies so that we may uphold the tikanga principle of kaitiakitanga and protect the taonga of Aotearoa, through:

  1. Encouraging industries such as nanotech, software, and specialised industry through investments and preferential policy;
  2. Working to ultimately make sustainable industries the backbone of the economy and preserve taonga by aiming for a significant but gradual reduction of polluters in the dairy and meat industry;
  3. The development of new farming methods and technology to reduce the environmental impact of unsustainable industries.
5.

We think that some jobs require human interaction. Automation is growing exponentially, bringing both benefits and challenges, including the loss of jobs in some sectors. We suggest:

  1. Educating people on harder to automate skills in areas such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking, at a younger age. We encourage the educating of these skills, especially at secondary school level;
  2. Proactively exploring and supporting the creation of jobs based upon newly available technology.
6.

We believe that the privacy and data of New Zealanders should be a greater concern of the Government, and we are uncomfortable with our data being collected and sold. We should be able to trust that our decision to opt-out of data collection is respected. Furthermore, we believe that terms and conditions should be more transparent, and this can be achieved by:

  1. Limitations on the length of terms and conditions agreements;
  2. A requirement that each agreement is understandable for the average reader.
7.

We recognise science is a complex topic that may be hard to communicate with audiences. The media often misrepresents scientific topics for commercial or entertainment purposes. We would like to see a publicly funded independent organisation that holds the media and individuals accountable for inaccurate or misleading scientific claims.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Jason and Oscar, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

Social Development

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Social Development Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

1.

We think equitable and easy access to social services is important. We recommend the Government collect thorough statistics to recognise where these values are not being met. We want situations of inequality and inconvenience to be addressed.

2.

We are concerned that domestic violence cases in New Zealand will continue to go untold and unsolved, as currently 76% of cases are unreported. We believe it is the right of the children of Aotearoa to have consistent and compulsory wānangatanga to help them prevent, recognise, report and eliminate abuse in our communities. We want to prevent normalisation of a culture of abuse.

3.

We recommend that the current reporting periods for victims of sexual harassment of 90 days in the Employment Relations Act 2000 and 12 months in the Human Rights Act 1993 are significantly extended. Many victims need more time to report their grievances.

4.

We are concerned with the lack of awareness about the current state of the foster care system in Aotearoa. We strongly endorse measures which will ensure our rangatahi have a safe and secure upbringing including, such as, but not limited to:

  1. Undertaking measures to expand understanding of the severity of issues in foster care, especially within the Government;
  2. Improving the adequacy of foster care services;
  3. Establishing a support system for parents whenever possible to ensure the isolation of children from their families and communities is a last resort.
5.

We stress the value of high-quality integration services for refugees being implemented in Aotearoa. Integration services should aim to maintain personal culture and beliefs while adapting to a lifestyle in the New Zealand system to help cope with newfound freedom. With whānaungatanga in mind, we aim to achieve positive resettlement outcomes through accessibility to these services.

6.

Aotearoa is a nation where many social issues exist under the radar, disadvantaging many of these people we cherish as a nation. We believe that the best way to address this is through relevant education of our youth as a preventative measure.

7.

Aging populations impact future generations. We recommend the government increase the age of entitlement to superannuation to 67, within a reasonable timeframe.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Dinithi and Marissa, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

Youth Development

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Youth Development Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

1.

We stress that the Government encourage civic engagement in Aotearoa’s rangatahi by:

  1. Contracting the Electoral Commission to facilitate compulsory politically neutral civics education in secondary schools, with a focus on how electoral and parliamentary systems work, and;
  2. Incorporating civics education into cultural and religious activities and/or organisations targeted at Māori and Pasifika youth. We want to boost engagement in this under-represented demographic, but also ensure rangatahi can make informed, educated decisions.
2.

We stress the need for the Government to provide greater access to emotional and mental health guidance for rangatahi, especially within at-risk Māori and Pasifika communities. We endorse volunteer organisations that connect young people in the same community experiencing similar difficulties. We support existing community programmes such as Do Good Feel Good in Mangere who develop youth-led responses to improve the hauora of rangatahi in the area through mentoring support.

3.

We are appalled by our high mental illness and suicide rate and thereby support the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Enquiry, especially regarding its focus on equity of access to quality mental health services. We hope the Enquiry will call upon the Government to reduce negative stigma around mental health and further increase awareness and understanding of existing services, such as YouthLine, LowDown, and Kapiti Youth Support.

4.

We call upon the Government to fully subsidise public transport for primary and secondary school students in order to make attending school more feasible for all rangatahi. We believe that by increasing accessibility to education, rangatahi will be more enabled to reach their full potential.

5.

We strongly urge the Government to implement a nationwide nutrition programme which provides both education on nutrition and provides primary school and early childhood education students with healthy lunches. We support the work of existing campaigns such as Fonterra Milk for Schools, KidsCan: Food for Schools, and Eat Right Be Bright. We believe children are entitled to receive adequate nutritious food and clean drinking water, and to have knowledge of nutrition as emphasised by Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

6.

We strongly urge the compulsory establishment and implementation of youth panels for each district council, with a focus on smaller towns and cities and where there are youth of minority backgrounds. We recognise current e orts of youth councils and other organisations that non-tokenistically engage rangatahi in order to mitigate the issue of youth disengagement in local and national decision making which affects them.

6.

We stress the need for youth spaces in all communities in Aotearoa that facilitate programs which mitigate youth unemployment and encourage educational participation, while maintaining a relationship with a local youth mental health service providers. We believe these spaces are a hub where young people feel safe, welcomed and valued as a member of the community and where they can also connect with fellow rangatahi.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Kane and Teresa, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

Media & Communications

 

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Media & Communications Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

11.1

We are concerned that New Zealanders do not know how much of their personal data, including private messages, call logs, etc., is being gathered. Enterprises and organisations do not make clear which information is handed over. We would like to see online enterprises being transparent with users about speci c details of what data they are collecting and how it is being used, as well as who will have access to it.

11.2

We acknowledge the increasing power that media platforms such as YouTube have over the incomes of young and diverse content creators, and small local businesses. These creators are at risk of (further) having their primary incomes impacted as a result of policy changes on these platforms. We therefore urge these platforms to comply with the spirit of Aotearoa employment law, specifically regarding protections from discrimination and termination without notice.

11.3

We encourage the continued cooperation between the Government and private entities to enable a ordable and secure private internet connections to low socio-economic communities. We want to see equal opportunities for all to engage with information and online services.

11.4

We are concerned about the fall of journalistic integrity, and its consequences on the spread of false information. We encourage the Government to educate the public about the integrity of information sources through educational campaigns to combat misinformation.

11.5

We acknowledge that the media have a strong influence on the perspective of today’s youth, contributing to misinformed or misguided biases. As such, we believe that the media has a responsibility to make clearly publicly accessible:

  1. Guarantee RNZ’s funding be adjusted to inflation to allow them to continue to create accurate and diverse news and creative content on multiple platforms;
  2. The content author’s affiliations and associations;
  3. The overall nature of the content e.g., opinion, sponsored content;
  4. Their sources of revenue and sponsors if applicable.
11.6

We believe generalisations and stereotypes in the media affect the quality of life of minorities who are misrepresented. Therefore, we urge media producers to include genuine diversity and positive representations of minorities in their content. Positive representations will show young people who are part of minority groups that they are celebrated by society.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Ben and Hana, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

Governance

 

Aotearoa Youth Declaration is an annual conference for High School Students which connects young people with government policy. Participants work in Focus Groups to develop policy statements that represent their views and priorities on a range of subjects. The statements below were drafted by the participants of the Governance Focus Group, and approved by the participants at the Conference.

 

1. We recognise that the current voting age is at 18 years old. However, we strongly encourage that civics education should be actively endorsed within schools, after which lowering the voting age to 16 should be explored.
2. We recommend retaining the current system of Māori electoral seats while investigating more effective and democratic methods of ensuring Māori representation.
3. We advocate for greater awareness and prominence of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti, including:

  1. Partnership;
  2. Duty of active protection of Māori people by the Crown;
  3. Right to redress in the event of a Treaty breach;
  4. Right of the Crown to govern;
  5. Recognition of Māori rangatiratanga over Māori land and culture.
4. We recommend giving prisoners the right to vote, with the exception of prisoners who have committed serious crimes including but not limited to:

  1. Murder;
  2. Airplane hijacking;
  3. Manslaughter;
  4. Terrorism;
5. We recommend lowering the MMP voting threshold to 3.4% (4 seats), to gain wider representation of minority opinions. We think the purpose of democracy is to uphold minority viewpoints as much as to allow the rule of the majority.
6. Participants were divided on whether New Zealand should adopt a codified constitution. Some participants opposed a written constitution as they thought it would prevent future evolution of New Zealand’s governing arrangements, particularly the role of the Treaty, while others were for it as they believed a written constitution could provide greater accountability on decision-makers.

 

An enormous thanks to the Focus Group participants, the Facilitators – Julia and Julia, the Conference Organising Committee, and the Event Sponsors.

 

Download the 2018 Youth Declaration

 

The life of a participant and facilitator at Aōtearoa Youth Declaration

My time as a participant:

My time with UN Youth began in 2015 at Aōtearoa Youth Declaration where I was placed in the Culture & Heritage focus group. My positive experience here led on to me attending the event again in both 2016 and 2017 as part of the Governance focus group.

Contemplating on my experience at Youth Declaration, my time as a participant is summarised into two points: community and education.

Because the focus group you are in is one that you have shown a passion for, you have the chance to find people with similar interests and for those 4 days, they become your new best friends because nothing could bring you closer than spending all day contemplating solutions to problems that plague our society. The friends I made at Youth Declaration I am still friends with today; this experience helps you to form unbreakable bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.

Looking back I now recognise just how influential and impactful my facilitators were; to have people who were always willing to discuss any problems you had or answer any questions about University was so important and enabled me to feel a lot more comfortable. In a sense, it is like gaining mentors; which is such a valuable thing to have in life

The skills you gain as a participant are remarkable. When I first heard of Aōtearoa Youth Declaration I had no idea that I would come out of it with an increased sense of confidence and knowledge in policy development. The event opens your mind up to a range of ideas and perspectives that elsewhere you would not have heard.

You have the ability to have such fantastic dialogue about issues that you are passionate about and that makes the experience unique from anything I had done before.

 

 

My first time as a facilitator at AYD:

I went into the 2018 Youth Declaration with no expectations or idea of how different my experience was going to be compared to a participant.

People always say that volunteer experiences in organisations like this are incredibly rewarding, but I had no idea just how rewarding it could be. When you have the ability to be put in the place of someone who you personally know has the ability to make such a difference is surreal, but if anything it encouraged me to be the best facilitator I could be.

I was not expecting such a 180-degree difference in my experience compared to being a participant but you really do look at the conference with a whole other perspective. Being a conference assistant allows you to have a better understanding of just how impactful this event is and shows just how amazing it is to have all these rangitahi in one room debating the issues of our generation; it really makes you feel both proud and privileged to be there and witness this greatness.

The work that you put into making this time incredible for the participants is absolutely worth it in the long run, especially when you finish all your statements and you see their faces when they realise how much they have learnt and put to use over the last 4 days. Once you start growing as a focus group you really start to build bonds and I can now understand why events like these form relationships that can last a lifetime.

These 4 days have been the most incredible days for me and I have loved every second of them. The work that goes on behind the scenes is incomprehensible and as a participant I never knew the effort and passion that goes into making this event such a success until now; the committee works tirelessly, welfare is always gearing to go, media team constantly taking photographs and recording the experience and the committee facilitators always willing to go the extra mile for their participant.

I can not recommend volunteering enough especially at Aōtearoa Youth Declaration; the people you meet, the knowledge you gain and the fun you have is unbelievable and I would like to thank all the participants, volunteers and especially the committee for a fabulous event.

 

 

By Julia Caulfield

What would you like MPs to know this election year?

We believe that it’s important to be an engaged and active citizen, but not all young people have the chance to express their views by voting. This year we’re asking you what you want MPs to know for election year! The Youth Declaration Facebook page is going to be a platform for young people in New Zealand to share their thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes as we build up to the election.

We’ll be posting photos of young people from around New Zealand every weekday, with their message to MPs and their stories. If you want to be involved, then look out for our photographers at UN Youth events, and especially at Youth Declaration!

 

“I would love for MPs to make inclusive and holistic learning a top priority this election year!”

“I think that education is a mechanism that could be better utilised to combat social issues, and should really be at the forefront of MPs’ minds when they’re looking at any youth-related policy.

Retaining students in the school system helps eradicate social issues such as poverty, gender inequality, crime, and even voter apathy. Although our dropout rate is decreasing, it’s still far too easy to disengage with learning if you feel like you don’t “fit” the system.

I hated school by the end of year 13, which was really gutting as someone who has always loved learning. I think NZ MPs need to continue to work towards a more flexible or individualised education system that doesn’t leave anyone out, which means catering to different learning styles, abilities, cultural backgrounds, and interests, rather than pushing every student towards the same goal of attending university, which isn’t realistic or necessary. In such an innovative country, it seems wild to me that we’d want to have schools that aim to produce identical-copy graduates. I think if we want to foster a love of learning that continues outside the classroom then we need to alter the way we approach learning, student by student.”

Anna, 19, Dunedin

 

“I want every MP to go into this election knowing that every individual deserves to be safe and we need to reevaluate our refugee policy.”

“I want every MP to go into this election knowing that every individual deserves to be safe and we need to reevaluate our refugee policy.

We live in a world which is inescapably connected and we as New Zealanders need to acknowledge that one humans’ life is no less valuable then our own. The refugee crisis is a prominent issue and New Zealand is so fortunate so why are we not pulling our weight.”

Olivia, 19, Wellington

 

“I want MPs to remember that their policies don’t exist in a vacuum, where they’re the only thing that affects Aotearoa – they sit alongside international law and the global community.”

“I want MPs to remember that their policies don’t exist in a vacuum, where they’re the only thing that affects Aotearoa – they sit alongside international law and the global community.

Rather than campaign against trade or immigration, or tell me that we’ll prevent climate change on our own, show me how you’re going to leverage our reputation and diplomats to make real, positive change. Tell me how you’ll use our relationships and international organisations to secure a safe future and minimise the risks and effects of global challenges. When we assume the only policies of relevance are our own, we make poor choices.”

Ash, 22, Wellington