From the Executive Director

Dear <<First Name>>

The past few weeks has seen an endorsement of "business as usual" in the Commonwealth's leadership. New Zealand re-elected John Key as Prime Minister and his National Party-led  to serve a third term, Scotland said no to independence from the United Kingdom, and Fijians elected Frank Bainimarama in the country's first democratic election since the 2006 military coup.
During this time of political upheaval - you need look no further than the current situation in Hong Kong - it is encouraging to see some stability in a hectic global environment.

Following a meeting of CMAG, Fiji has been welcomed back as a full member of all the Councils of the Commonwealth after a long stint as a suspended member. Commonwealth Youth New Zealand welcomes this decision and hopes that those working for the betterment of Fiji can continue to work for more transparency and to uphold the values of the Commonwealth.

Today marks four days until the first round of applications closes for the Queen's Young Leaders Award. If you know of a young person who is making a real difference in their community I would encourage you to nominate them for this award. See below for more details.

Aaron Hape
Executive Director 
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand
Fiji rejoins Commonwealth as a full member
Fiji's Frank Bainimarama has been confirmed as the winner of Fiji's general election. Mr Bainimarama's Fiji First party took 32 of 50 seats, according to results released by the Fijian elections office.

Last months' election marked the first time people in the South Pacific nation have gone to the polls since Mr Bainimarama seized control in a 2006 coup.

The opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) won 15 seats and the National Federation Party (NFP) won three.

We are pleased that Fiji has rejoined the Commonwealth as a full member. We call on all stakeholders in Fiji to continue working together to strengthen the country’s democratic culture, encouraging them to explore opportunities for dialogue and national reconciliation.
Young Kiwis excel in Commonwealth Essay Competition
Congratulations to National Student CHOGM alumni, Connor Slattery, who received a senior gold award for the short screenplay he wrote for the 2014 Commonwealth Essay Competition. You can read Connor's screenplay on our website.

Congratulations to Wakatipu High School's Hebe Hilhorst, who was also awarded a senior gold award. 

Other young Kiwis awarded prizes are as follows:

Senior Silver
Grace Lee
Andrew Tang

Senior Bronze
Ihlara McIndoe

Junior Gold
Jack Prebble
Joseph Lee

Junior Silver
Albert Paik

Junior Bronze
Katie Ferins
Nominations closing for Queen's Young Leaders Award
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is searching for inspirational young people across the Commonwealth who are making a difference in their communities. You have until 10 October to nominate someone you think who's efforts should be recognised. 

Grants will be made to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people. Applications are closing soon so go an apply/nominate someone today
Flag referendum to be held in 2015
A referendum on changing New Zealand's Flag is likely to be held next year. Would you vote to change the flag in favour of a new design or keep the current ensign?

By law, the flag can be changed by a simple majority in Parliament, however the Prime Minister has indicated that a referendum will be held in which all eligible New Zealanders can vote. We encourage you to submit your views on the issue when this matter officially arrises.
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