We young people are innovative using many platforms to advocate for ourselves - what matters to us and what we want to do about it and what is needed from the community, government, and peers to achieve these outcomes for issues that are important.
There is so much passion and determination in our young people, with rallies pulled together to make positive impacts on issues such as equality, mental health, environment, housing, education and justice.
There's a movement across the whole country with taitamariki taking a stand. We have a vision for a world where anything is possible for us all, recognising our whakapapa (history) and dreaming of a brighter future.
Inspired by the resource Represent Our True North, I gain more understanding of what is important to our young people today; they want to be listened to, not just heard.
I'm not much of a big reader, but every time I open this book, I can read page after page. Haylee, a young activist in Northland seeking justice in schooling, wrote an article, Acting Out, to recognise issues like generational trauma, abuse within homes, Western system and educational policies that repeatedly let generations fail in a system that is there to teach them.
Haylee shares: "The way our schools function as a whole needs total reform." Linking this back to her statement, "something not spoken about is intergenerational trauma. In simple terms, indigenous people are still feeling the effects of events such as colonisation. Intergenerational trauma is often caused by culture disconnection or past incarnation in the family, it can also stem from a culture of sexual abuse or generation abuse".
This is considered a controversial topic in New Zealand (we don't like to admit we are racist); it's not often discussed, especially not in a school setting. The first time I heard this term was earlier this year.
There are so many stories about how young people are finding ways to advocate for themselves and peers right now. Recently, there have been petitions circling about social issues and it's been prominent on my social media.
How inspiring, I love finding out what matters to others, there's so much I don't know about and I'm always keen to learn more.
"The more you learn the less you know," my whanau tends to say.
Taitamariki are loud and proud, they are mighty poets, strong storytellers, performers, and callers, creating heartfelt short films, are fluent rappers and wicked artists and advocators and decision-makers, and we are calling for a better tomorrow because the way things are now just isn't good enough.
• Anahera Pickering is community outreach co-ordinator at Whangārei Youth Space. She can be contacted at Anahera@youthspace.co.nz .