Press release: UNA NZ speech award 2021 winner and runner up announced

22 November 2021




The United Nations Association of New Zealand has held the Secondary School Speech Award for over thirty years. Previous winners have included Dr Diva Dhaya, young New Zealander of the year, Paula Tesiora, now Commissioner for Disabilities and Chris Bishop MP, previous finalists include current Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern.

The topic for 2021 was: “The role of the United Nations (and its broader system, including for example, the WHO) in addressing global challenges such as COVID-19 reinforces the need for governments, NGOs, the private sector and people everywhere to support and develop the United Nations. What should this support and development look like?”


Usually, regional finals are held and regional winners are then brought to Wellington for a national competition where they also get to participate in UNA NZ’s national conference and receive a tour of parliament. This year due to COVID-19 the speech awards were held online. 


We were pleased by the number of entries received despite this and are inspired by the charisma, resilience and engagement of young people who continued to participate. They reflect a bright future for New Zealand and its engagement with multilateralism. The ideas shared by the students have provided us with fresh perspectives on the relevance of the United Nations and how it is viewed by young people today. 


With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that following the judging process a runner up and a winner of the United Nations Association of New Zealand Speech Award for 2021 have been selected.


The runner up for 2021 is Hunter Hayes from Westlake Boy’s High School, Auckland. His speech can be viewed here.


The winner for 2021 is Isabella Etherington from St Pauls Collegiate, Hamilton. Her speech can be viewed here.


The 2022 speech award details will be announced early in 2022 and will be posted on our website


Please send any questions to [email protected]

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