Ministerial Youth Advisory Group

Learn about the Ministerial Youth Advisory Group and its members.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Young people
  • Parents, caregivers and whānau
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Teachers and kaiako
  • Community organisations

Children and young people are at the heart of our education system. They have a right to participate, be heard and have their opinions considered in decisions that affect them.

Purpose of the Youth Advisory Group

  • A way for New Zealand youth to share their experiences and perspectives on education with the Minister of Education.
  • Members bring their insights to the Ministry of Education to help inform how we work and improve the education system.

Recruitment of new members for 2022

We’ll begin recruiting for new members in March 2022. We’ll update the website with information about how and when you can apply soon.

Meet the Ministerial Youth Advisory Group


Caelan Harris

18, Hamilton

Caelan YAGHello, my name is Caelan and I am 18 years old. I live just outside of Hamilton on a large lifestyle block with my family of 5. I have been home educated from the age of 6 and I believe this gives me a unique point of view to contribute to YAG. I have battled with Juvenile Arthritis for most of my growing up years which has built in me maturity, compassion, and empathy. I am heavily involved in the Para Sporting community – training competitively for Athletics as a thrower, volunteering with Parafed Waikato, and working as a Learn to Swim Instructor. Through the St John Youth Program, I’ve had many opportunities to learn new leadership skills and have been able to put them into practice through volunteering at my local Christian camp during the holidays as a Senior Leader. I’ve been involved with the Ministry of Education in an advisory role for many years at a regional level. I am excited to come back for a second year with the Ministerial YAG. In 2022, I am beginning my studies of a Bachelor of Design majoring in Communication Design at the University of Waikato. 

Daisy Tumataroa

17, Taumarunui

Daisy YAGKo Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Makotuku te awa
Ko Aotea te waka
Ko Raetihi te tūrangawaewae
Ko Te Puke me Mangamingi ngā marae
Ko Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi me Ngāti Rangi me Uenuku ngā iwi
Ko Daisy Tumataroa tōku ingoa

Kia ora, my name is Daisy Jae Tumataroa and I am a Year 13 student attending Taumarunui High School. I am a prefect and the student representative of our school board.

I was born and raised in small-town Raetihi in the central North Island near Mount Ruapehu. I am a curious person who enjoys obtaining new knowledge from pretty much anything. I have a passion for using my voice and fighting for what's right. I have a strong belief that education is the key to empowering people.

At Taumarunui High School we use an innovative big picture learning model and I enjoy putting forward new ideas and opinions for the future improvement of our educational system.

I am so thankful and blessed for the opportunity that has been given to me as a member of the Ministerial Youth Advisory Group and I look forward to the achievements of our team in 2022.

Jayden van Dyk

15, Hamilton

Jayden YAGHi, my name is Jayden van Dyk. I'm 15 and I live in Hamilton.

I have been fortunate enough to have attended a small rural high-decile primary school and a low-decile small middle school in the city where I was deputy head boy. In 2022 I’ll be a Year 12 student at Fairfield College.

I have an ultra-rare genetic disorder KBG syndrome that has meant I have needed specialist support in education at different times. But I've never let that be an excuse not to fully participate in everything and sport is my equaliser where I'm just like any other 15-year-old boy.

I believe my experiences in different types of schooling allow me to be an asset to the Youth Advisory Group and I enjoy being able to have an impact.

Rei Denee

18, Wellington

Rei YAGMy name is Rei, this will be my second year as part of the YAG for 2022. I am a trans, autistic, disabled young person who highly values education and community. I'm grateful to be contributing to discussions that can further the support for people like me in our schools.

While I am very passionate about learning, I have consistently struggled with and been let down by the education systems in place. I intend to help create a flexible school environment where everyone has the opportunity to grow and be reliably supported.
Working with the Youth Advisory Group has helped me feel heard in a way I've never experienced before. Acting as a voice for my community is where I know I'm meant to be.

I am so excited to continue this work in 2022 with new and old members and help build a better learning environment for young people in Aotearoa.

Harlow Tran-Lawrence

17, Taranaki 

Harlow YAGMy name is Harlow Tran-Lawrence and in 2022 I’ll be located in Auckland, studying Global Studies at Auckland University. I am queer nonbinary and of mixed and Vietnamese descent.

I graduated Spotswood College in Taranaki during 2021 and have a strong background in rainbow advocacy and working with queer youth. My areas of passion focus on inclusivity of minority communities, mental health and LGBT+, POC and BIPOC issues. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the YAG for two years and am excited to carry my mahi through into 2022 for my last year in the group.

Tanin Cain

16, Auckland

Tanin YAGMy name is Tanin. I’m 16, I’m NZ Māori/European and live in South Auckland. Last year at school was a bit bumpy but I found my feet towards the end. I’ve always struggled in state schools, they don’t quite fit with how my brain works. I’m really looking forward to this year – I will be home schooling with my younger brothers and doing part-time Te Kura. My goal is to be a game developer, which I will be focusing on heavily this year. YAG is exciting, our voices are heard and I feel like we’re making a real difference.

Maru Taiaki

18, Paraparaumu

Maru YAGKo Tokomaru tōku waka
Ko Kapakapanui ko Tararua ōku tūpuna mounga
Ka ngahae ngā pī, ko Waikanae tōku awa
Ko Te Atiawa tōku iwi
Ko Waikanae tōku marae
Ko Whakarongotai tōku whare
Ko Maru Taiaki ahau e mihi ana

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Kia ora, my name is Maru Taiaki, of Te Atiawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Whātua and Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi descent. 

Born and raised on the Kāpiti Coast, I am a student at Hato Pāora College. As a graduate of Māori-medium and English-medium education I am passionate about every young person enjoying education and achieving success, especially for Māori.

I enjoy all sports, speaking and learning te reo Māori and performing kapa haka. 

'Whāia Te Tika, Do what is right'
Hato Pāora College motto


Find out about the Youth Advisory Group expectations and responsibilities

Advisory Group terms of reference

Further information

If you have questions about the Youth Advisory Group email:


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