Youth Advisory Group Terms of Reference

Find out about the expectations and responsibilities of the Ministerial Youth Advisory Group, including attendance at meetings, training, and the Code of Conduct.

Purpose of the Youth Advisory Group

The purpose of the Youth Advisory Group is to:

  • inform the Minister of Education on aspects of the education system and how these affect the children and young people that use the system
  • provide an opportunity for New Zealand youth to voice their own experiences and perspectives on education, and
  • bring these insights to the Ministry of Education and education sector to help inform work practises.

Expectations and responsibilities

Youth Advisory Group members may be required to:

  • interact with the Minister of Education, Associate Ministers of Education, officials from the Ministry of Education, and/or other relevant government agencies (as required)
  • receive and reply to emails from the youth facilitator as point of contact
  • consider suitable topics for discussion, and contribute their perspectives on issues and opportunities that are important to young people.

Members are expected to:

  • attend the agreed meetings for the duration of their tenure (1 year)
  • be proactive and committed to engage with the Minister of Education and Ministry of Education officials and/or facilitator to represent their perspectives on the subjects important to them
  • provide constructive advice on policy and projects presented for discussion by the Ministry, whilst taking into account the wider needs, issues and views of young people
  • be approachable and mindful of other people’s opinions and perspectives
  • work effectively and collaboratively with other people
  • bring additional youth issues and opportunities to the table for consideration.

In return for their commitment, the member will be provided with:

  • support to carry out their duties through experiential learning
  • catering, travel to and from meetings and accommodation, where required
  • the experience and knowledge to make the voice of young people heard, and
  • a Certificate of Appreciation from the Minister of Education, outlining key competencies demonstrated through your participation and contributions, at the end of their tenure.

Meetings and reporting

Members of the Youth Advisory Group will attend an orientation meeting and quarterly meetings, based on the calendar year of their tenure at the Ministry of Education (or any other appropriate location). The Ministry will discuss scheduling of meetings with members of the Youth Advisory Group.

It's expected that members will attend at least 3 of the 4 meetings during their tenure.

Meeting dates are set at the beginning of each year.

The Youth Advisory Group insights and advice are officially reported to the Minister of Education and distributed to relevant Ministry groups and education sector agencies once the meeting minutes have been approved by the members. Each report will be proactively released to the public.


The Youth Advisory Group will include up to 12 members. If required, additional members may be brought into the Youth Advisory Group for their specialist knowledge and experience.

The Youth Advisory Group is expected to have a representative balance of:

  • gender diversity
  • ethnic diversity
  • balance of regional diversity across New Zealand.

And, where possible:

  • inclusion of disability perspective
  • inclusion of socio-economic diversity
  • consideration of different types of education, including Māori-medium, boarding, school, online education delivery, home schooling and NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
  • due consideration of different types of life experience that impact on education and learning (such as learning support, international study, ESOL (English as a Second Language), or LGBQTI+.


Members must:

  • be aged between 14 and 18 years as of 1 January 2019
  • have the ability to work with other people and in a team
  • be proactive and committed to representing their own perspectives
  • be approachable and an effective communicators
  • return the signed parental, guardian or caregiver consent (where applicable)
  • be able to commit to the meeting schedule
  • attend at least 3 of the 4 meetings per year, and
  • be able to travel to Wellington to attend meetings.

Terms of appointment and appointment process

The standard term of appointment (or tenure) for each member will be for up to 1 year or at the discretion of the Minister of Education. The term of appointment can be less than 1 year if a member resigns or no longer meets the criteria.

Individuals who are interested in applying to be on the Youth Advisory Group need to meet the criteria as listed above and register through the online process.

Officials will shortlist candidates based on the criteria set out above, and make recommendations to the Minister of Education. The Ministry of Education will ensure an appropriate mix of diversity from across New Zealand.

The Minister of Education will approve the members.

Operation, induction, training and review

The Ministry of Education will set up a secretariat to oversee the administration and support of the Youth Advisory Group, including any costs.

All members joining the Youth Advisory Group will receive an orientation pack and information explaining the Ministry of Education functions and processes, the role of the Minister of Education and the purpose of the Youth Advisory Group.

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed as required. All changes to the Terms of Reference will be subject to the approval of the Minister of Education.

Role Description, Code of Conduct and Member succession process

The Youth Advisory Group Terms of Reference also includes:

Annex 1: Role Descriptions for the Youth Advisory Group Secretariat, Facilitator and Members

Annex 2: Code of Conduct

Annex 3: Member succession process

Printable version of the Terms of Reference

The complete Youth Advisory Group Terms of Reference can be downloaded and printed.

Youth Advisory Group Terms of Reference [PDF, 199 KB]

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