Competition winners highlight the power of young people talking about bullying

A rap song from two students, Paulie Ewing and Te Hoko Te Riini, at Tarawera High School has taken top honours in the performance category of the Bullying Free NZ week competition.

Chair of the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education Iona Holsted has congratulated all of the winners of this year’s Bullying Free NZ Week competition saying the entries show the impact bullying can have on the lives of young people, and how powerful it is when they are able to talk about it.

Judges praised the musicality and maturity of the winning entry, which provides a raw and honest account of bullying. Other winners include videos, songs, poems, presentations and artwork.

Winning entries are available on the Bullying Free NZ website.

The competition was part of Bullying-Free New Zealand Week, which was held in mid-May. Students were asked to use creative media to depict their interpretation of the theme ‘Let’s Talk About It!’

"This year’s competition was an opportunity to encourage children and young people to talk about how to tackle bullying behaviour with their teachers, parents, and each other," says Ms Holsted.

"Bullying prevention is a shared responsibility; real change happens when everyone - students, school staff, boards of trustees, parents, whānau and communities - work together to prevent bullying.

"Young people across New Zealand have shown great awareness of this serious issue and tackled it in expressive ways. "They’re saying bullying behaviour should not be tolerated in any form and that everyone should be treated with respect," said Ms Holsted.

Given the large number of high quality entries, the judges also judged the work of students from another 18 schools as worthy of a special merit award or recognised as highly commended.

"The many inspiring and imaginative competition entries illustrate the significance of this issue to our young people and our schools.

"As well as those who have won prizes, I commend every student who submitted an entry to the competition," said Ms Holsted.

The Ministry of Education is part of the cross-agency Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, which has members from 18 organisations, including representatives from the education, health, justice and social sectors, as well as internet safety and human rights advocacy groups.

More information about the competition and the entries are online at
2018 First Prize winners (across 3 categories and 3 age groups)

  • Browns Bay School, Auckland
  • Apanui School, Whakatane
  • Welbourn School, New Plymouth
  • Elim Christian College, Auckland
  • Makarika School, Ruatoria
  • Oaklands School, Christchurch
  • Wentworth College, Auckland
  • Southern Health School, Dunedin
  • Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton
  • Tarawera High School, Kawerau

2018 Special Merit Winning entries (across 3 categories and 3 age groups)

  • Redcliffs School, Christchurch
  • Tamahere Model Country School, Hamilton
  • St Bernadette’s School, Christchurch
  • Sefton School, Canterbury
  • Randwick Park School, Auckland
  • Northcross Intermediate School, Auckland
  • Whangamata Area School, Whangamata
  • Mission Heights Junior College, Auckland

2018 Superstar winning entries (students nominated by their school for being bullying prevention superstars)

  • Amuri Area School, Culverden
  • Papanui High School, Christchurch

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