PMPYA winner nominated for Young NZer of the Year

posted: 4:00 pm - 9th January 2018
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Pasifika youth leader and advocate Josiah Tualamali'i (pictured) has been named as a top 10 finalist for the 2018 Young New Zealander of the Year award.

The 22-year-old says his passion is to empower Pacific young people and their fanau to be visible and influential in decision-making in Aotearoa.

Currently, a University of Canterbury (UC) Politics and History student, Josiah won the Air New Zealand Leadership and Inspiration Award, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) at the 2016 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA), for his outstanding leadership qualities.

Josiah’s leadership journey started at age 14 when he became Prime Minister in the first Pacific Youth Parliament in Aotearoa.

As a result, a group of youth MPs continued meeting, eventually forming a trust – Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) – which aims to empower young Pacific people to participate in all spheres, and which Josiah has been Chair of since 2013.

Three years later, Josiah won a Civic Award for Youth Advocacy from Christchurch City Council ahead of receiving the PMPYA Leadership and Inspiration Award.

Last year, Josiah travelled to the World Health Organisation Assembly in Geneva as part of the NZ delegation.

Josiah advocates for Pacific people on a number of boards including the Pacific strategy board at UC, and the board of National Pacific Health NGO Le Va.

Fellow UC student Logan Williams has also been nominated for 2018 Young New Zealander of the Year for his contribution to the New Zealand community and dedication to develop innovative technologies.

An inventor, scientist, and entrepreneur, Logan has developed a method to turn pest algae Didymo into useful materials.

He also invented polarised contact lenses for people who suffer from light sensitivity.

Logan has recently been selected for the Kōkiri Maori Business Accelerator; the youngest entrepreneur chosen with the only South Island-based company in the startup accelerator programme.

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their ninth year.

They celebrate people who use their passion for NZ to make the country a better place.

The winners of the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards will be announced at a gala event in Auckland on February 22.

Visit NZ AWARDS for more information.