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Youthline receives around 1000 texts per day, 15,000 calls per month and contacts over 400,000 young people per year. These are just some of the reasons the Child & Youth group were fortunate to spend Friday morning learning about Youthline – and were entertained by the lovely staff with drums, discussions and eye-opening role-play! We learnt about all aspects of the organisation, from the triage frontline services and helpline, interactive classroom drama skits, some of the issues facing young people today, to how we can get involved as volunteers. To find out more visit

The Economic Development group started the day with a visit from Steven and Hamish from NZCID, who talked to us about NZ’s key infrastructure development issues and visited the Sky Tower’s observation deck, to appreciate the scope of infrastructure in Auckland. After lunch, we started our Focus Group discussions on partial privatization and the issues surrounding including a “Treaty” clause.

EDUCATION As part of the visit to the Epsom Campus were given a presentation from the Woolf Research Institute, which works to enhance education for undereducated low-decile schools. A PhD student from Germany presented her research project on how literacy levels of primary school students are affected by summer holidays. We wrapped up the morning with a friendly tour of the campus, walking through different teaching facilities.


INTRODUCTION “Welcome to Youth Declaration 2012!” Sally’s words spread through the theatre, the tone was set, the challenge delivered

and accepted. Youth Declaration kicked off with something unexpected of an early 8am Friday start, energy. The keynote speaker, Max Harris, left us inspired as he showed us that the power and influence of youth in society is at its greatest, today. In an age where postcards and posters are eclipsed by social media, Max left us realising that Facebook and YouTube are more than just a means of displaying shameless weekend adventuresthey’re tools for change. Max’s involvement in allowing youth across New Zealand to express their opinions on controversial issues is something of admiration and further inspiration. Motivated, inspired and energised, it was now time to reach out (with ‘Outreach’)! The latter part of the day’s activities included a Quiz and Vision workshop. The Quiz was highly contested reflected in the fist pumps of victory and “ahhhh”’s of defeat. The Vision workshop stimulated participants to think about the future of New Zealand. Ideas of which were then stuck into the shape of a (slightly disfigured) fern.


ENVIRONMENT A highly enjoyable and educational time was had at the Kaipatiki Project centre, learning about its role within the community and getting to know one another. The smallerscale initiative highlighted the need for public awareness and, pun-intended, grass-root action. After an interesting discussion with a staff member, we engaged in some practical work, clearing ten full rubbish bags of the weed (wandering dew) from the native bush. A great start to the conference and a birth-place of our team name: WeedBusters!

Wet is the most appropriate word to describe the Foreign Policy Focus Group’s outreach experience. With Amnesty International running the show, the group was introduced to the work of the organisation, how it goes about making a difference and its hopes for the upcoming International Arms Trade Treaty. After making a video in support of Amnesty’s latest campaign, the session culminated with an intense water fight which saw all involved soaked and one facilitator transported back to his youth.

WHO | Newspaper editor: Kaveshan Naidoo Designer: Chris Park Reporters: Su Young Kim, Victoria Clarke, Facilitators WHAT | UN+Written is Youth Declaration’s offiical newspaper! An entertaining mish-mash of articles, reports on what happened during the day, and teh LOLs. WHEN | There will be 3 newspapers on Sat, Sun & Mon released at morning tea. TO DO | Say hi to us we don’t bite! Contribute even, maybe?

The outreach programme at Women’s Refuge focused on issues of institutional abuse: in the struggle for obtaining justice, women often find themselves being re-victimised and reabused through our adversarial system- yet this reality is often masked by the sociallyaccepted perceptions that such women are “mad” or “bad” mothers. Maxine stressed the notion that in order to free the oppressed you must know about oppression. In a society where ignorance is bliss, progress can only really be achieved by acknowledging the reality of gender inequality.






The government group was fortunate to visit the Auckland City Council as part of the outreach program at the UN Youth Declaration 2012. Our hosts offered energetic insights into the role of local government and submission processes. Each student received constructive feedback after presenting mock submissions.

The outreach session for the health focus group was interesting despite the fact that we stayed in OGGB.

All students walked away feeling part of the democratic process and confident of their ability to make a difference at local government level.

The speaker went through various topics like health trends, the externalities of people with terminal illnesses and health economics, delving into things like the statistics behind the government’s health expenditure.

LAW & ORDER The Law and Order focus group for Youth Declaration 2012 had an engaging morning at the NZ Police Auckland Central station. Senior Sgt. Salt withstood the full weight of the group’s interrogative abilities. The highlight of the trip was a tour of the station, including a chance to talk to a member of the Armed Offenders Squad, as well as try all of their equipment.


 offers a free, confidential service for members of the public with human rights enquiries and complaints of unlawful discrimination.
The HRC works tirelessly to protect Human Rights in New Zealand. They strive for a society where diversity is valued, and everyone is free from prejudice and unlawful discrimination.

Some of the many ways the HRC strives to do this is by advocating and promoting human rights, overseeing equal employment opportunities, providing information and education to the public. They conduct inquiries into rights infringements and make public statements on human rights as well as publishing codes of practice. The HRC also reports to the Prime Minister about how we are complying with international human rights legislation, and develops the national plan of action for human rights in New Zealand. We thank Julie Watson and the Human Rights Commission for their generous support for Youth Declaration 2012. Find out more at




“They can kill you if they want. They can save you if they want.” Dawit, an Ethiopian refugee talks about the power of the military in his homeland.

The Science and Innovation focus group kicked off their 2012 Youth Declaration experience with a visit to the Maurice Wilkins Centre. Not for the faint-hearted, we visited the anatomy museum where we spent time perusing the intriguing specimens on display. Following this we traipsed through the research centre stopping at various places to observe cancer research in action. Finally, we discussed New Zealand’s contribution to science and research with Professor Shepherd, who shared with us his views on the present situation and his hopes for the future.

We were lucky enough to visit the social development agency Lifewise. We learned about the fantastic work they do for youths and the homeless, and the way in which they harness the power of social media to promote their initiatives such as the Big Sleepout, and Neighbours Day. We were also treated to some delicious food from the Merge cafe. Lifewise’s grassroots approach to social development was fascinating and thought provoking for the whole group and will no doubt inform our discussion over the next few days.

A Kalashnikov rifle slung across his shoulder since he was thirteen, this was no ordinary kiwi upbringing. The visit to the Refugee Services was an eye opening experience as we were presented with the lifestyle of a refugee and it was one that was starkly different to our own.


APPLICATION QUOTES: Food reqs: “Vegetarian, allergic to cats, horses, fluffy things, dust, pollen, etc; hay fever; mild asthma.” What do you hope to get out of Youth Dec? “I’ve always watched the news and thought ‘Oh, if only they did this.. WHY DON’T THEY DO THIS. I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS THIS IS UNFAIR.’”

UN+ ANNOUNCED Waiting to hear about Pacific Project? Sit tight for tomorrow night! Anonymous contributions to the newspaper? Textline: 027 313 4085

Issues you feel strongly about: “Just last week I asked a little sweet 9 year old girl ‘What happened to your eye sweaty?’”

To the owner of the souped-up Toyota Corolla with spinners: get another car.

FACILITATOR LOLS: Text to organising committee before Youth Dec: “Hey! Should I bring packed lunches and dinner etc to youth dec?”

Jerome Cameron tripped over in the CA room yesterday. We laughed. BE SOCIAL: UNYOUTHNZ

UN+Written: Youth Declaration 2012 Newspaper ISSUE ONE  
UN+Written: Youth Declaration 2012 Newspaper ISSUE ONE  

UN+Written is the official UN Youth Youth Declaration newspaper. Read on to find out how the first day of the conference went.