Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Youth Week – May 6-14, 2023

Youth Week, celebrated in May every year in New Zealand, is a major cultural event in the nation. This year, it takes place from May 6 to 14. New Zealanders get into a festive mood every year to mark Youth Week every May. Youth Week is a nationwide carnival of events to recognize and laud the talents, passion, and achievements of local young people, also known as ‘Rangatahi.’. The theme changes every year. The theme of Youth Week 2022 is “Our voices matter, and we deserve to be heard!”

History of Youth Week

The first Youth Week was held in Canada in 1995, with a handful of events scattered throughout the country. The initiative has gathered momentum ever since, and today, it is celebrated annually in many countries around the world. Aotearoa, or the North Island, first marked Youth Week in the late 1990s. The New Zealand Association for Adolescent Health and Development (N.Z.A.A.H.D.) launched the first festivals, then later entrusted its celebrations to Ara Taiohi in 2010. The Y.M.C.A., which was started in Auckland in 1855, was New Zealand’s first youth organization. It expanded its reach to other regions soon after.

All the Youth Week festivities are conceived and organized by young New Zealanders. For the general public, this event inspires them to value, support, and affirm the diversity of young people. Youth Week is coordinated by Ara Taiohi, a body for youth development in Aotearoa, and is supported by the Ministry of Youth. The events are designed to encourage young people (12 to 24 years old) to share ideas, take on challenges, and focus on the positive aspects of being young.

Many children and youth face significant social challenges in New Zealand, such as addiction, poverty, violence, inequality, and poor mental well-being, which affect their prospects.

The government of New Zealand has enacted legislation that is focused on the well-being of children and poverty reduction. The work is being managed by the Child Well-being and Poverty Reduction Group, which was established in February 2018, and consists of the Child Wellbeing Unit and the Child Poverty Unit.

Youth Week timeline

1250 A.D. — 1350 A.D.
The First Settlers

Arriving in canoes, the Polynesians from East Polynesia settle in Aotearoa and develop a distinct Māori culture.

1877
School Reforms

The Education Act of 1877 creates New Zealand's first free national system of primary education and makes education compulsory for children aged five to 15 years.

1974
The Youth are Allowed to Vote

New Zealand lowers the voting age to 18 years.

1994
The First Youth Parliament

The inaugural Youth Parliament takes place at the New Zealand Parliament Building.

Youth Week FAQs

What kinds of activities happen during Youth Week?

Youth-oriented events covering arts, culture, sports, recreation, social service, and mentoring are the most common activities in Youth Week.

How many youths are there in New Zealand?

As per official figures, in 2019, there are around 1.6 million New Zealanders under the age of 25, comprising about 33% of the nation’s population.

Who is the youngest M.P. in New Zealand?

In September 2017, at age 23, Chlöe Charlotte Swarbrick was elected as a member of the New Zealand Parliament.

Youth Week Activities

  1. Attend a Youth Week event

    Going to a Youth Week event is an excellent way to show support for young people. Events are usually listed on www.youthweek.co.nz.

  2. Interact with the media

    Write to the editor of your local newspaper, highlighting the positive aspects of youth in your community. This is a good way to celebrate the part young people play in society.

  3. Appreciate the youth

    Tell the children and young people in your life how much they mean to you. We often assume that they already know how special they are, but praising them makes a world of difference.

5 Interesting Facts About New Zealand’s Youth

  1. Ara Taiohi’s large membership

    The Ara Taiohi is a national membership-based organization with over 1,600 personal and organizational members who work with young people.

  2. New Zealand’s youth in politics

    Every three years, the Youth Parliament is held in New Zealand, where the youth influence the government’s decision-making, learn first-hand about the nation’s democracy, and have their voices heard.

  3. Joining the Youth Parliament

    To become a Youth Member of Parliament, young people aged 16 to 18 years are chosen by their local member of parliament.

  4. A multi-day event

    The Youth Parliament takes place over two days and runs just like the actual Parliament.

  5. The protection of children

    New Zealand’s Child Wellbeing Unit is tasked with improving the well-being of all children in New Zealand.

Why We Love Youth Week

  1. It keeps us young

    Hanging out with the youth keeps you active and vibrant. Getting to do it for a whole week makes it even better.

  2. It shows the youth in a positive light

    Youth Week is a refreshing departure from the negative stories that we so often hear about youth. It reminds us that young people are valuable members of society.

  3. It celebrates people who work with the youth

    Teachers, counselors, parents, sports coaches, and others play a huge role in shaping the upcoming generation. This holiday gives them due recognition.

Youth Week dates

YearDateDay
2022May 7Saturday
2023May 6Saturday
2024May 4Saturday
2025May 3Saturday
2026May 2Saturday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.