Submit essay by Friday, 18 December 2015
Results will be announced on Friday, 26 February 2016

Five more days to submit an essay for the Institute’s Nation Voices essay competition, which explores the question ‘What makes a good prime minister for New Zealand?’ This is an opportunity for a young New Zealander to have their work published in our upcoming book, Nation Voices.


Essays should focus on the character, personality and skills that make a New Zealand Prime Minister ‘good’. These essays are not intended to include a discussion on political parties. Character is about values. Smart practice is about working on natural skills over time in areas such as sports, music, academia and the arts. Personality is what you wake up with, while character is what you need to work on all day, every day.

Important dates

  • The deadline for entries is Friday, 18 December 2015.
  • The results will be announced on Friday, 26 February 2016.

Essay competition guidelines

  • The maximum word limit for the essay is 2,500 words.
  • The author must be aged 18–25 and living in New Zealand.
  • All entries must be submitted as Word documents via email to nationvoices@mcguinnessinstitute.org.

Please see the Nation Voices essay competition page for an entry checklist, prize information and details about the  judges.

More about Nation Voices
Nation Voices is a McGuinness Institute project that aims to explore what makes a good prime minister of New Zealand. One of the outputs of the project will be a book that will use the lens of character and oratory to examine our nation’s 40 premiers and prime ministers. This book, which will be published late 2016, will be a companion to Nation Dates: Significant dates that have shaped the nation of New Zealand (our signature book).For more details see www.nationvoicesnz.org.