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Strengthening Democracy:  a project for college leaders

Background

In late 2022 Peter initiated a program with high schools in the Greater Wellington region to encourage youth participation in our democracy, working alongside three former school Principals - Donna Dentice, Ian McKinnon and Gregor Fountain. Read more here.​

The Project

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. 

 

29 students from 11 High Schools participated in the project which included a workshop with Nina Obermaier, 
European Union Ambassador to Aotearoa New Zealand, and a workshop with New Zealand Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster and Andrew Butler, KC.  

Finalists

Projects were received from the eight groups participating, comprised of students from 11 different colleges in the Greater Wellington region.  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.  Links to the three finalist videos can be viewed below:

1.  St Patrick's College, Silverstream

2.  Scots College

3.  Wellington High School

The Reward

Students were selected from the participating group to take part in a day visiting leaders of our country to discuss the issues they identified during the course of their work on this project. 

First the students met with the Chief Justice, the Rt Hon. Dame Helen Winkelmann at the Supreme Court.

The group then went to Parliament where they met with the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe before attending question time. 

The grand finale for the day was a meeting with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt Hon. Chris Hipkins.  

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