Kerikeri Youth Councillor wins speech award

Published on 30 June 2022

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Council would like to congratulate Far North Youth Councillor Joe Howells from Kerikeri High School for his achievement as co-winner of the Race Unity Aotearoa Speech Awards 2022 with his speech, setting an audacious goal for all New Zealanders to aspire to.

The awards were held on Saturday 25 and 26 June at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae, in Ōtara, Auckland. Joe Howells was named a winner alongside Sheryl Chand, of Solway College in Masterton, of the long-running annual speech competition. Joe also won the Tohu Māramatanga – New Zealand Baha'i Community for Insight.

The theme of this year's awards, organised by the Baha'i community, was Ngā matimati nō te ringa kotahi (the fingers of one hand). Joe Howells’ speech called for all New Zealanders to work together to eradicate racism, like the fingers of one hand.

The Speech Awards are sponsored by the NZ Police (principal sponsors), the Human Rights Commission, Foundation North, Manukau Institute of Technology, the Ministry for Ethnic Communities, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Speech New Zealand and the Hedi Moani Charitable Trust and Studio Marque.

At its 30 June 2022 Council Meeting, Far North District Councillors unanimously approved a resolution moved by Councillor Rachel Smith to formally congratulate Joe Howells’ achievement.

“It is a marvellous achievement, and we should all be proud of him,” said Mayor John Carter.

You can read more about the awards here and watch Joes speech here.