Otago Youth Forum 2017 is a civics education conference aimed at Otago secondary students with an interest in local and national issues. This two day event will be held in the Hunter Center in the University of Otago Campus on the 23rd and 24th September

This years theme is UN+Surfaced, looking at ways young people can engage in issues and work above the surface of politics to become active citizens.

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Day One 23rd September Time Activity
8:30AM Registrations
9:00AM Opening Ceremony
9:15AM Committee Session One
11:00AM Morning Tea
11:30AM Outreach
1:30PM Committee Session Two
2:00PM Lunch
3:00PM Workshop 1
4:30PM Afternoon Tea
5:00PM Afternoon Briefing
6:30PM Social Event
Day Two 24th September Time Activity
8:30AM Registrations
9:00AM Opening Briefing
9:15AM Speakers Panel
10:30AM Morning Tea
11:00AM Workshop 2
12:00PM Committee Session
1:00PM Lunch
2:00PM Plenary
4:30PM Closing

Focus Groups

Otago Youth Forum 2017 delegates will be divided into groups to address 6 central focus issues as follows:

Education and Youth Development

Education and Youth Development will focus on New Zealand’s formal education system and the role it plays in youth development. Is our education system failing youth? What are the ways we can address this? Is it time to think outside the box?

Cultural Development

New Zealand is a proudly multicultural country, and Otago is a proudly multicultural region. Cultural Development focuses on the responsibility of groups and individuals in relations to culture and heritage.In particular, Cultural Development aims to address the unique role of cultural identity in New Zealand’s social development, and how embracing this identity may be able to help combat discrimination and disenfranchisement.


Addresses the questions of what a just New Zealand looks like, and how we go about creating it. Justice aims to explore ways in which to make our justice system more equitable, whilst developing the skills necessary to be an active citizen in order to protect your own rights and those of others.


The environmental concerns facing New Zealand and Otago are both urgent and complex. The Environment focus group will aim to develop a response to these challenges that will address a raft of issues including climate change, pollution and conservation.


Health aims to address many of the pressing health-related issues facing New Zealand. Health is a multi-faceted issue and involves a number of issues including the state of the public healthcare system, mental health, and community and environmental concerns.


New Zealand and Otago are hubs of innovation, and the ability to innovate is crucial to ongoing economic success. The Innovation focus group will investigate the future direction of New Zealand innovation in terms of both scientific and technological progress and the ethical questions that arise from this. What is the impact on the environment? What bio-ethical concerns may arise?