March and April have seen much change in CYNZ and in the Commonwealth. Firstly, it is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of the following people to CYNZ's Executive Committee: Brad Olsen, Jennifer Fellows, Ellen Jackman, Patrick Lindsay, Luke Kingi, Joseph Habgood, Isobel Pepper, Ananseini Nuku, and Daniel Ash. I am looking forward to working with this eminently talented team. I have every confidence that they will build on the gains locked in by previous executive committees.
Secondly, I would like to farewell three hardworking volunteers from our ranks: Emma Stilwell, Gareth Power Gordon, and Sandra Ivanov. All were Founding Members of CYNZ and have served the organisation in the roles of Events Officer, Administration Officer, and Policy Officer respectively. All have devoted large chunks of their time to CYNZ and the organisation is all the better for their involvement. 

Last Friday saw the formal appointment of Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC as Secretary-General of The Commonwealth. On behalf of CYNZ, I wrote to congratulate her and offer our support as she carries out her duties. I met Baroness Scotland in Edinburgh two years ago when she addressed the closing session of 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme. After hearing her inspirational story, I hoped her involvement with the Commonwealth would become formalised, so I was absolutely delighted with the news last November of her selection. I know she will breathe much-needed new life into this great global family to which we belong. 

In the next iteration of this update, Brad Olsen, CYNZ's new Deputy Executive Director and New Zealand's Queen's Young Leader for 2016, will fill this editorial space, while I will address you again in June. 


Executive Director
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand

On 27 November 2015, in Malta, the Commonwealth Heads of Government appointed The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC of Dominica as the first woman and the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General. She assumed office on 1 April, 2016. 

She moved to the United Kingdom with her family, growing up in east London. She trained as a lawyer and became the first black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel and the first black woman to be appointed Deputy High Court Judge. She also became the first female Attorney-General of England and Wales since the creation of that office in 1315.

She joined the House of Lords and went on to serve as a minister in the Foreign Office, Home Office and Lord Chancellor’s Department, all while undertaking major reform of the criminal justice system, including the introduction of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act.

During her speech to the Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean, she spoke of her pride in having been born to a father from Antigua and a mother from Dominica. “I am extremely proud to come from the Caribbean. I’m extremely proud to be embarking on this new journey as Commonwealth Secretary-General because together we can achieve so much for our region and our world".

“As a Commonwealth, each country has something unique and special to give each of the others. Together we are so much stronger than we would ever be on our own. I know that we are going to deliver inclusive creative solutions to difficult problems," she said.
On 21 March, CYNZ's Board appointed a new Executive Committee to serve until the 2017 AGM. Congratulations to them. You can find out more about their backgrounds and their relationships to CYNZ on our website.
Top: Hon Nikki Kaye, Minister for Youth, gets a selfie with Common Leaders Day 2016 participants; Left: Commonwealth flags at the Commonwealth Day National Observance; Right: participants engrossed in group work at Common Leaders Day.
Commonwealth Day saw many events held, including the Common Leaders Day programme. This brought together a range of inspiring young leaders in community, government, national and international fields and shows senior high school students that everyday people can become outstanding leaders. Many of the participants also attended the Commonwealth Day National Observance.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped make this event a huge success - look out for our plans to run this event again in 2017.
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