The US and New Zealand – Kiwi youth explore the connection.

Guest blog post by U.S. Embassy Youth Councilor, James Fleury.

65 young Kiwi leaders from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin met for the US Embassy Youth Council Conference in the capital last week.

The three-day conference allowed the participants to build connections with fellow youth councillors from the different cities, diplomats, embassy staff and several influential leaders from both countries.

Dunedin Youth Councillor Charlotte Brewer said her main highlight of the conference was getting to know vibrant, enthusiastic, like-minded people from around New Zealand.

She said while she found the whole conference to be an unforgettable experience, for her, the Advocacy and the Environment discussion was the most enjoyable out of the eight possible panels to choose from.

“A further highlight was learning a bit more about the inspiring work from NGO’s such as Zealandia, Sea Cleaners and Ākina.”

The other discussion panels included in the conference were Capitol Ideas, Elections and Campaigns, Friends and Partners, Making a Difference Through Civil Society, Peace and Security, Trade and Enterprise and, Women Across Society.

Christchurch Youth Councillor Tom Kennedy said the conference provided him with a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of leaders from across different sectors and more about the relationship between New Zealand and the US.

“A particular highlight for me was the discussion provided with the Embassy and the Ministry of Defence about our shared values, which I found to be both timely and insightful.”

The young leaders also enjoyed the fully immersive embassy experience with lunch at the exclusive Wellington Club, an optional tour of parliament and BBQ at US Ambassador Scott Brown’s residence.

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