UNA NZ Speech Awards

UNA NZ runs an annual high school speech competition, involving schools across New Zealand on major UN related issues. It has become one of the highlights of our year, and cumulates in the regional branch winners being funded to attend our National Conference, to compete on a national level. 

2017 Speech Awards

The theme for the 2017 Secondary School Speech Award will ask the question Is there a Role for Nuclear Weapons in today’s World?  This links with what many consider an historic breakthrough – the passing of UN resolution L41 which called for a UN Negotiating Conference in March and June/July to consider a “ban” treaty which would have the support of the majority of UN member states.  New Zealand was a co-sponsor and voted yes along with 113 others on Christmas Eve.

What has been interesting is that along with some contrary statements President Trump has proposed a “deal” with Russia to reduce the number of Nuclear weapons held in exchange for lifting sanctions.  And the Chinese President said at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos that we should work towards their elimination.

Let us hope that the movement of the Doomsday Clock to 2.5 minutes to midnight – the closest since 1953 – may trigger some action.  It is long overdue. A sustainable Peace though will require more than the elimination of Nuclear Weapon.

Regional dates in 2017:

Tauranga: 3 April

Wanganui: 30 April

Wellington: 12 May, 1pm St Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington Central Facebook link

Waikato: 18 May, 6pm Hillcrest High School, Hamilton Facebook link

Auckland: 24 May, 6.30pm Kinder House Auckland Facebook link

Palmerston North: beginning of June (date to be confirmed soon)

National dates in 2017:

Finals will be held on the Friday of our National Conference in Wellington at the end of June. 

The winner will be able to participate at the National Model UN event organised by UN Youth in Wellington on 11-14 July. 

Why you should consider competing in a Speech Award:

♦ Participants speak on a UN related topic for just 5-8 minutes
♦ Researching the topic is really easy if you have access to a computer 
♦ The judges are normally from organisations like the Toastmasters, or they're UNA NZ high profile members or handpicked topic experts, so you'll get helpful feedback, and you'll be presenting to people in the know!
♦ Awesome prizes!
♦ The regional winners participate in the National Finals
♦ The National Final is held in conjunction with the UNA NZ National Conference, so you get a great opportunity to get involved in the social events, listen to the key speakers, and meet all kinds of interesting people.
♦ If you win your regional heat, your regional UNA NZ Branch will pay for you to travel to Wellington to compete in the final

Contact your nearest regional branch for more information:

Northern Region (Auckland) Branch

[email protected]  

Organiser: Monju Sarkar 

Waikato Branch

[email protected] 

Organiser: Mano Manohoran 

Wanganui Branch

[email protected]

Organiser: Kate Smith or Gita Brooke 


[email protected]

Organiser: Gray Southon


[email protected] 

Organiser: Robin Halliday


[email protected]

If you have further questions please contact your closest Regional Branch.