Are you passionate about seeing positive change for New Zealand communities? Have an opinion on what that might look like, or how effectively current political parties have proposed to do this? Enter the UN Youth NZ Essay Competition and be in to win the very first competition of this kind held by UN Youth.

The 2017 competition is now closed.

Check out our 2017 winners of the competition under the ‘winners’ tab!


This competition is open to all secondary school students in New Zealand (years 9 – 13).

Answer the question listed below in your essay. Essays will be judged on clarity and originality of idea, effectiveness of language and evidence of research.

The maximum word limit is 1000 words.

You must reference any sources using footnotes in your essay. Footnotes can be in any style and will not count towards the word limit. Referencing has been asked for the purpose of encouraging entrants to acknowledge any sources used, and is not a criteria for judging essays.


The winning essay will be published on the National UN Youth Blog and promoted for our wider audiences to read. The winner of the competition will also be awarded with a book voucher, and a guaranteed spot at the 2018 Aotearoa Youth Declaration Conference. More information about the conference can be found here.

There will also be a smaller prize of a book voucher for up to two runner up entries.

2017 Question

Please answer the following question in your essay:

“What is one policy you think would change New Zealand for the better, and how should it be implemented?”


Any questions or issues can be emailed to [email protected]