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.

2018 Speech Awards

Registrations are now open for this year's Speech Awards. Please register directly http://bit.ly/UNANZspeechaward 

How should we balance climate change issues versus economic growth in New Zealand? Are they mutually exclusive?”, is this year’s topic for the United Nations Association of NZ’s annual Speech Award. Regional events will be held in late March/April and branch winners will be funded to attend our National Conference on Friday, 18 May in Wellington to compete on a national level.

Questions can be sent to [email protected]

Regional events:

Tauranga – 26 March, 7pm, Mount Maunganui College Staff Room

Christchurch – planned for April School holidays, contact [email protected] for more details

Dunedin – 2 May, 7pm, University of Otago, Richardson Building

Whanganui – 6 May, 2pm St Paul's Community Centre, Whanganui

Wellington – 8 May, 1pm, Conference Centre, Room 1, St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington 

Auckland – 8 May, 7pm, Auditorium, St Cuthbert's College, 122 Market Road, Epsom, Auckland 

Palmerston North – 9 May, 5 for 5.30pm start, Manawatu County Club, 2 Fitzroy Street. Corner of Fitzroy and Main Streets 

Other regional dates will be updated here once confirmed

2017 winners

We congratulate all contestants of the 2017 speech awards. The finalists gave their speeches during our National Conference in Wellington on 30 June. We congratulate the winner Olivia Bennett from St Cuthbert's College in Auckland. 

Photo caption (L-R): Joseph Sison (St Patrick's College Wellington), Joy Dunsheath (UNA NZ National President), Emelye Brown (Wanganui High School), Elsie Spiers (John Paul College Tauranga), Sean Millward (Tokoroa High School Waikato), Olivia Bennett (St Cuthbert's College Auckland), Maddison McQueen-Davies (Palmerston North Girls), Chris Bishop MP. 

Why you should consider competing in a Speech Award:

♦ Participants speak on a UN related topic for just 6-8 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!
♦ 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: Steven Arnold 

Waikato Branch

[email protected] 

Organiser: Mano Manohoran 

Whanganui Branch

[email protected]

Organiser: Kate Smith or Gita Brooke 


[email protected]

Organiser: Gray Southon


[email protected] 

Organiser: Robin Halliday


[email protected]

Palmerston North

[email protected] 

Organiser: Jean Corbin Thomas


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