Peace Essay

We are constantly confronted by images of violence but rarely by images of peace.

Peace can only come about if we visualise it and make it happen at all levels of society. This essay competition is aimed at eliciting youth’s voices in the creation of a more just and peaceful world. To this end the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Otago) and Soka Gakkai International New Zealand* have launched the Aotearoa/New Zealand Youth Peace Essay Award. We invite young people between the ages of 17-25 to take part in this peace essay award by expressing your thoughts on various peace-related issues at local, national and global levels.

To Enter the Contest
Theme of 2016: “Unity in Diversity”

In 2016 we invite participants to respond to the broad theme of Unity in Diversity. Societies that respect people’s different identities while developing a strong sense of community are critical to the development of a peaceful and tolerant world. In this sense, Daisaku Ikeda writes that: “[p]eace is found when you reach out and make an effort to understand and embrace someone who is different from you.”

What does this mean in the context of Aotearoa/New Zealand? How can we create a tolerant, pluralistic and inclusive community at local, national and global levels?

Your essay can be in the form of either personal reflection, a proposal for action, or an academic essay. You can choose any topic relevant to the set theme. A few examples might be:

• Ideas to stop bullying of classmates with different backgrounds

• Personal experiences of supporting the resettlement of refugees in my community

• Proposals for engaging in dialogue with youth in other countries

• Discussion of how to understand and promote biculturalism and multiculturalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


1st place – A certificate and prize of $800

2nd place – A certificate and prize of $500

Highly commended awards – A certificate and a gift

 To Enter the Contest:

1) Essays must be 2,000 words or less, excluding title and any references.

2) Academic essays should have standard formatting, including a title, introduction, body, and summary/conclusion. Informal essays that reflect people’s personal experiences will also be accepted.

3) Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced.

4) Page numbers in footer, starting with first page.

5) If necessary, use footnotes.

6) Participants are expected to submit a separate cover page that includes the name, affiliation, and e-mail address. The student’s personal information including name should appear only on a cover page, in order to ensure objectivity in the review process.

7) Entries must be original work, unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

8) Individuals may not submit more than one essay. Submissions of entries authored by multiple individuals will not be considered.

Deadline: 4 November 2016

If you are submitting your essay by post, mail stamped on this date will be accepted.



Submissions can be made either by post or via e-mail.

The Centre Manager
The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
518 Castle Street
PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

* Write ‘Aotearoa/New Zealand Youth Peace Essay Award’

on the envelope


An email attaching the electronic file of the essay can be sent to:

*All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have for the pieces they submit, but by entering Aotearoa/New Zealand Youth Essay Award, each contestant consents that their submissions may be published or publicised by the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, and/or SGI-New Zealand.