JULY HAS been a month in which I have taken the time to reflect on how lucky we are to live such an amazing country. Whether we like it or not, New Zealand is situated in splendid isolation from much of the world and the problems it faces. We do not pick fights or antagonise, rather we give considered, measured advice. We do not impose, but we seek peaceful resolutions. 
It is because of this tyranny of distance that we are able to take a step back and think before we act. Recently, former New Zealand Prime Minister and nominee for United Nations Secretary-General, Helen Clark, was asked if the role should be accorded to an Eastern European, based on the regional rotation convention. Her response: “My little country is in the South Pacific, and it’s never had a Secretary General either, so I really think that given the scale of the challenges our world is facing that we need a global search for the best talent.” 

Both of these messages - that we are a considered, thoughtful people, and that we are an immensely talented bunch - are two key themes that I hope participants in the upcoming National Student CHOGM will refer to during their debates and discussions. This is the 35th year the programme has been run, and we at CYNZ are proud to be partnering with the Royal Commonwealth Society Wellington again to provide yet another opportunity for young people to engage with Commonwealth values. To the delegates: I look forward to meeting you next Monday and following your discussions. 

This past month has also seen the Executive Committee build on CYNZ's national engagement strategy and shore up a number of partnerships with other organisations. Once these have been confirmed, I will inform members through this forum as memoranda of understanding are signed.

Finally, thank you to those of you who have renewed your membership for another year. For those of you who are still to renew, you can find details of how to renew here

Executive Director 
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand
STUDENT CHOGM 2016 is just around the corner. In partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society Wellington, we are looking forward to welcoming 60 high school students to Wellington for the programme which will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year.
AS PART of the Governor-General's Dream Team for The Sir Peter Blake Trust's Leadership Week, our Executive Director was invited to speak to senior classes at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School about things that drive them to achieve and fight for the values they believe in.
AT CYNZ we love to celebrate the success of our members and to share their amazing stories. If you would like to be featured in our newsletter or you want to promote your project or event, visit our website or send us an email to
AS PART of the McGuiness Institue's Nation Voices programme, CYNZ Deputy Executive Director, Brad Olsen, was asked to share his thoughts on the qualities, values, and personality traits that a person needs to possess in order to be a successful Prime Minister of New Zealand. 
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