Award nomination tips

Some tips for how to make a great nomination for the Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards.

Involve your nominee

Please involve the young person in the nomination process. It’s a good idea to discuss why you want to nominate them for a particular award and to talk about what a nomination involves. 

The nomination form will ask you to confirm that the young person understands and consents to their nomination being submitted, and their information being shared with the selection panel.

The young person may also like to include their voice in the nomination – for example, through quotes, photos, artwork or video.

Focus on the future

Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award nominations are all about supporting a young person’s goals for their future.

The best nominations paint a picture of what the young person wants to achieve or experience in their future, and it demonstrates what progress they have already made towards their vision.

When providing brief background about the young person’s experiences, try to give information that’s relevant to their progress and achievements (and the context of the Award).

Be clear and specific

Consider why you have decided to nominate the young person for a particular Award category. Write down how the young person’s attributes, skills and goals relate to that category specifically.

Help the young person to think about how they might use the scholarship funds ahead of time (not applicable for Outward Bound nominations).

Describe exactly what the young person intends to spend the scholarship on, and the timeframe they want to do it in.

Spell out how the Award or scholarship would help the young person achieve their goals for the future and how it relates to the Award category.

Writing tips:

  • Use plain language. Find tips on writing in plain language here: Plain English | Readability Guidelines.
  • Be clear and brief. Check if your writing is easy to understand by putting it in the Hemingway editor: Hemingway Editor - Hemingway App.
  • Ask a supervisor, or someone else authorised to read the information in your nomination, to proof-read it before you submit.

Include supporting material

Supporting material is a great way to show 'evidence' of a young person’s skills, attributes and achievements. Consider asking them to help you select these.

Some examples of supporting material include:

Creative or reflective writing
An essay, story, poem or news article written by the young person.

Audio material
You could include links to songs, spoken-word poems, speeches or other audio recordings that a young person has made.

Art and design work
Include art created by the young person – this could be a photo, or link to an online portfolio for example. It could include paintings, weaving, clothing, graphic designs, sculptures, photography, animations and so on.

Certificates, trophies
List any significant achievements in the nomination and consider including copies of special certificates, trophies, scholarships or other material the young person is proud of.

News articles or websites
Copies of news stories or website articles about the young person, or work they have been involved in.

Testimonials and character references
Statements from people who know the young person well and can describe their skills, attributes and achievements. When getting in touch with someone to write a testimonial, let them know which Award category you are nominating the young person for and point them towards more information on our website.

Video and photos
The young person may like to record a video or send a photo of themselves, or you might like to help film them doing something they are passionate about.

Upload your video recording to a free file-sharing website such as Dropbox, and include a link in the supporting material section.

Video tips:

  • Plan the video before starting.
  • Use a smartphone or camera to film – if you’re using a phone, hold it in landscape mode (horizontally, instead of vertically).
  • Choose a location with plenty of natural light.
  • Find a plain background that isn’t too distracting.
  • Do an audio test to identify any loud background noise.
  • Use a tripod or put your phone on a steady surface to avoid shaky footage.
  • Be prepared to do a few takes - practice makes perfect.

Start early

It can take time to work on a nomination, so start as early as you can. This helps create an encouraging experience for both the young person being nominated, and the person writing the nomination. The best nominations are well-considered and not rushed.

Get in touch

If you’ve got any questions at all, feel free to email us at

Published: July 22, 2022