Being in Care

The Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards

The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards celebrate care-experienced young people. They celebrate how far they have come but most importantly how much further they can go.

Nomination process

Who can be nominated?

The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards are about the potential a young person in care has and how they may have proven this already. It’s about giving them a step up to make a positive change they want to make to their future.

So you can nominate any young person who wants to make that positive change and who is:

  • currently in care or youth justice, or has care experience within the last two years
  • aged between 15 - 21 years and
  • able to use the scholarship within 12 months.

 Any young person who has been in the care of iwi, child and family services or Oranga Tamariki can be nominated.

Who can nominate a young person for an award?

Anyone can nominate the care experienced young person – including social workers, caregivers, teachers, community members, support workers or other people involved in their lives.

How many young people can I nominate?

There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit.

Please complete a separate nomination form for each young person.

A young person may be nominated for more than one award category, however if chosen they will only be eligible for one scholarship.

How do I choose which award to nominate them for?

The Awards celebrate young people in how far they have come, but more importantly how much further they can go. Our award categories acknowledge the path they may like to take.

Talk to your young person about their hopes and aspirations to determine the category that best suits how they see their future looking.

The Awards categories

Does my nomination need to be approved?

If you work for Oranga Tamariki your Site Manager will approve your nomination before you submit it.

What happens after I submit a nomination?

First we will complete a background check on the young person. Then a selection panel will read all nominations and meet to choose the award recipients.

Once award recipients have been selected, you will be called to let you know if your nomination has been successful and to discuss next steps.

Unsuccessful nominees will still be acknowledged to ensure they are recognised for their nomination and positive contribution.

What can I do to provide the best chance of my nomination being successful?

The selection panel love to see nominations that show a young person’s potential and determination to achieve success, or who are excelling in their chosen field. We encourage you to involve your nominee in their nomination, and include personal touches from the young person, including photos and letters of reference.

Tips for a great nomination

How much should I involve my nominee in the process?

We recommend you involve your young person in the nomination process. Discuss with the young person why you want to nominate them for the Awards, and talk about which category they would like to be nominated for.

Sometimes it might be nice to nominate your young person as a surprise, however if you choose to do this we recommend speaking to that person’s support networks and mentors for letters of reference.

What happens if my nomination is successful?

Congratulations on your successful nomination! We will call you, as the nominator, to discuss next steps. You can then tell your young person the great news.

In December, Award recipients are flown to Wellington with their nominator and a support person where they are treated to a day of activities and sightseeing, followed by a special ceremony at Parliament where they will receive their Award and meet the Prime Minister.

What happens if my nomination is not successful?

Unsuccessful nominees will still be acknowledged to ensure they are recognised for their nomination and positive contribution. You are able to nominate the same young person next year, provided they meet the criteria.

I need help with my nomination. Who can I ask?

We’re here to help, so contact us at PrimeMinistersAwards@ot.govt.nz for help with the nomination process.

The Awards

What's the difference between the Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards and the William Wallace Awards?

In 1926, William Wallace left a generous bequest that founded the basis of the William Wallace Awards. To build on an already strong history, it was decided in 2018 to widen the scope and status of the awards, and The Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards were created. Endorsement by the Prime Minister elevates the awards and gives care-experienced young people the opportunity to be recognised at the highest level. It also reflects the Government's commitment to young people in care. To honour the generosity of William Wallace a William Wallace Scholarship will be awarded annually.

What does it mean to be a recipient of an award?

Being nominated and selected is an honour. Our recipients are being recognised for their strength and resilience, their achivements, and the amazing journey ahead of them.

How many awards are available?

There are between 15 - 20 awards available each year.

The Awards categories

How are the Awards winners chosen?

A selection panel will read all nominations and meet to choose the recipients.

Panel members have two weeks to read and consider all nominations before meeting to discuss and select the recipients.

Unsuccessful nominees will be acknowledged with a certificate to ensure they are still recognised for their nomination and positive contribution.

Who is on the selection panel?

The selection panel is made up of representatives from sponsoring organisations. This includes Barnardos, Sysdoc, Outward Bound, Vodafone Foundation NZ, Youth Horizons, Open Home Foundation, GFS (Girls Friendly Society), VOYCE and Oranga Tamariki. We also include a recipient from the previous year to sit on the panel.

Is this process confidential?

Yes, the selection process is confidential.

All members of the selection panel sign a confidentiality agreement and nomination packs will be destroyed following the panel meeting. One digital copy will be kept in a password protected folder for future reference.

If recipient information is shared, this will be in consultation with both the nominator and young person.

The Awards ceremony

Can I attend the Awards?

Yes! If your nominee is a successful recipient, you and a support person will be able to attend the celebration day and awards ceremony with them.

Is there any support to prepare for the Awards Ceremony?

We understand that there can be some anxiety around not knowing what to expect from the day and want our recipients to feel prepared and excited.

We send each winner an information pack prior to the ceremony with information around what to expect on the day and how the ceremony will run. If there are any further questions you can email them to PrimeMinistersAwards@ot.govt.nz and we will make sure they are answered. 

We acknowledge how important it is for our winners to be surrounded by people they know and trust. Each recipient is able to bring along a support person to share the day with in addition to the person who has nominated them for the award.

What do we wear to the Celebration Day and Award Ceremony?

  • Celebration Day: We recommend wearing casual, comfortable clothes for the day as there will be activities and some walking involved and we want you to feel relaxed.
  • Award Ceremony: Recipients will have an opportunity to change before the ceremony. This is a chance to dress up and feel your best. It’s also a good idea to be comfortable but we can’t recommend enough that people wear something that makes them feel special. We will also have some hair and make-up artists to give the young people a special makeover if they choose.

How is travel arranged to attend the Awards?

We will arrange and pay all travel for yourself, the support person and the recipient. We’ll be in touch with you directly.

Will the young person be interviewed or photographed at the Awards? Where does this get published?

There will be a photographer there on the day. There are also opportunities for young people to share their story with media if they are interested. This may include regional newspapers, magazines, television or internal news channels. These options will always be discussed with the young person to ensure they understand what’s involved and permission to any information and photographs used.

When completing the Nomination Form make sure to check what your young person is comfortable with.

Get in touch with us at PrimeMinistersAwards@ot.govt.nz if you’d like to discuss further or have any questions.