top of page

Strengthening Democracy 2024

The Project

This year the project was facilitated by the committee comprising of Peter Cullen, Donna Dentice and Ian McKinnon and supported by the Rotary Club of Wellington. 


Students were asked to work in groups to answer the following questions:

1.    What is democracy? 
2.    What are the current threats to our democracy? 
3.    What possible solutions are there to these problems? 
4.    How might the suggested solution strengthen our democracy? 


The groups were to present their ideas as a video no longer than six minutes, supported by a written document of no more than two pages. 


2024 saw 23 High Schools submit projects, with participation from 63 students.

Five workshops were held over five months. Speakers included:

Professor Michael Baker, Colin Keating, Solicitor-General Una Jagose, KC, Jacqui Caine (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha),

Andrew Butler KC, Member of Parliament David Cunliffe, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, Sir Anand Satyanand, Chris Allison, Minister Tama Potaka, Kevin Moar, Julie Haggie, Jessica Mutch-McKay, Minister Judith Collins, Minister Chris Bishop, Dr Paul Duignan, Andrea Vance, James Hollings and Deputy High Commissioner John Pearson.


Projects were received from the eight groups participating, comprised of students from 23 different colleges in the Greater Wellington region - with submissions from as far as Palmerston North and Wanganui.  The results were of a very high standard and some deep and complex thinking had gone into each one. Judging the three best was a difficult proposition for the leadership team.  Written and video submissions can be found here

1.  Samuel Marsden Collegiate School (Tara Bayly, Charlotte Cinque, Lillian Hillyer Magoffin, Tiantian Ren, Telesia Tanoa'i)

2.  Scots College (Jaskiran Rahi, Sebastian Heine-Sheldrake, James Blackmore, Lydia Cammock, Ben Coull, Skye Cowdell, Charlie Fletcher)

3.  Wellington Girls' College (Edie Berryman, Eva Duignan, Toby Holden, Madison Homewood, Jessie Zerhouni)

Recognised for outstanding commitment and achievement were:

  • Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu/ The Correspondence School (Poppy Tinsley)

  • Wellington High School (Nate Hough and Kade Leogreen)

  • Heretaunga College (Ayaan Chand, Graceleen Lata and Ife Moses)

  • Palmerston North Boys' High (Sam McKerras)

  • Palmerston North Girls' High (Lucy McLean

  • Aotea College (Tobias Williamson)

  • Paraparaumu College (Kiera Headifen and Sylvie Minnaar)

The Reward

Students receiving placings or recognition will be attending a tour of Parliament, visiting a number of important Wellington figures including Ministers, the Honourable Sir Stephen Kós KNZM, and Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier. 

bottom of page