14 participants come together in what is called a ‘focus group’ to discuss relevant issues and create statements. Two facilitators educate on these issues and facilitate discussions in a safe environment to create these statements. They are then discussed by all participants in a plenary session, where statements can be amended to further reflect views of the young people . All 14 focus groups’ statements are then included in the Declaration.
Culture & Heritage
“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. Culture and Heritage has previously chosen to focus on topics surrounding cultural awareness and appreciation, particularly regarding tangata whenua, as well as migrant populations.
The economy is comprised of all people who purchase and sell New Zealand goods and services, both at home and abroad. In previous years the focus group has written about free trade agreements, employer and employee rights, government regulations, and economic and tax policies.
Education is the key to growth and integration into the world. This group will focus on issues in pre-primary, primary, secondary and further education systems. Also looking at current educational reforms affecting New Zealand, and try to address concerns of accessibility in education.
Aotearoa is home to valuable and diverse ecosystems which it is our responsibility to protect. The Environment group will look at topics from sustainability of resources to pollution, to the reduction of carbon emissions and waste.
Fairness and equity of rights are fundamental values that any modern society should strive for. The scope of this focus group covers all types of injustice and inequality as they appear in Aotearoa; including but not limited to gender, sexuality, disability issues and representation of other marginalized peoples.
New Zealand is a unique country with an equally unique political position in the word. This focus group will look at the nation’s standing when it comes to international affairs and relations. In previous years, they have discussed the current refugee crisis and our role as a leader in the Pacific region.
Governance encompasses our national institutions including local and central government. Examples have included topics such as electoral systems, parliamentary laws and constitutional issues including te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Hauora encompasses the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual well-being of an individual. As such, this focus group may choose to discuss topics such as mental health, nutrition, access to healthcare and health education.
Infrastructure & Civil Defence
This focus group will encompass the physical and organisational structures and facilities of our country, as well as our ability to respond effectively to emergencies. Issues within these domains include development of our urban centres, transport, provision of utilities and crisis response.
Law & Order
A robust and functioning society relies on competent and well-informed lawmaking to protect peace and order. In past years this group has discussed legislative issues, legal rights, criminal justice systems, and rehabilitation.
Media & Communications
The media shapes our understanding of the world around us and communication methods allow us to develop, share and critique our opinion. A new addition in 2017, the media and communications focus group has a wide range of topics potential topics varying from cyber security, broadcasting rules, media censorship, ethical reporting and freedom of speech.
Science & Innovation
With advanced progress being made in such fields day by day, innovation unlocks the potential of how our future world will look and run. Past focus groups have discussed science in schooling, research, development and funding of projects and brain drain.
Adequate social development should ensure our communities run safely and effectively. This group may touch on poverty, state services, domestic violence, homelessness and more social issues affecting the nation.
As the future, youth deserve to grow up in a happy, safe and healthy environment. In previous years, this focus group has covered participation in local affairs and empowerment, strategies to aid disadvantaged youth and further issues in youth welfare.