UC student wins 2017 New Zealand Youth Award

12 April 2017

University of Canterbury student Wesley Mauafu is the recipient of a 2017 New Zealand Youth Award.

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    Wesley Mauafu, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, has received a Youth Champion Award for making a significant contribution to young people. Wesley has been recognised in particular for his work advocating for and supporting young Pasifika people in the area of wellbeing and suicide prevention.

University of Canterbury (UC) student Wesley Mauafu is the recipient of a 2017 New Zealand Youth Award.

Wesley, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, has received a Youth Champion Award for making a significant contribution to young people. Wesley has been recognised in particular for his work advocating for and supporting young Pasifika people in the area of wellbeing and suicide prevention.

Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced the winners of the 2017 New Zealand Youth Awards yesterday (Tuesday 11 April).

“These awards recognise young New Zealanders who’ve achieved outstanding results and given back to their communities, as well as those who’ve made a significant contribution towards supporting young people,” Ms Kaye says.

UC Pacific Development Team (PDT) Leader Riki Welsh says Wesley’s work in this area has been outstanding, and was most apparent when he chaired and led the first PULSE (Pasifika United to Lead Suicide Prevention Education) event.

“This was aimed at increasing suicide prevention information with young Pasifika people. Leading a group of adults and clinicians was no easy task, but Wesley delivered this to a very high standard.”

At UC, Wesley works part time as a tutor for Pacific students, including through the PDT’s successful outreach programmes for high school students. He has tutored more than 30 students in Science and Maths, and also helped lead Christchurch’s first STEM fono (meeting) in 2016.

Wesley is also part of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council (PYLAT), a Christchurch-based group that supports Pacific young people to engage in democracy. PYLAT is currently undertaking one of its biggest projects to date – a parliamentary simulation for Pasifika Young People. In the event, Pasifika young people will be trained and assisted to act as MPs and lobbyists. The University of Canterbury is helping support the event.

The 2017 New Zealand Youth Awards were presented at a ceremony at Parliament in Wellington last night.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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