Young Speechmaker Contest

The Lions Clubs of New Zealand offer youth from 16 to 21 years of age (as at 1 December in the year of the competition), the opportunity to participate in a national public speaking contest. Entry is free to the contestants and open to the public through your local Lions Club. Generally, there will be at least a district contest with the winner/s coming forward to the National Final held in August each year.



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2023 Lions New Zealand Young Speechmaker Final
Judges at this year’s Young Speechmaker final, held at the Rangiora RSA on Saturday, 12 August, had a very tough decision to find placegetters from the District finalists who had made it to this point in the competition. Nine young people, who came from areas spread geographically from the far north to the deep south, and spoke on a wide variety of topics, represented their schools, their sponsoring Lions clubs, and their families with honour and integrity

 Results of the competition were as follows:
1st – Millie Jane Mcilraith (202E – Hawarden-Waikari Lions)
2nd – Grace Johnston (202J – Dunedin Host Lions)
3rd – Imogen Hosford (202M – Hastings Pioneer Lions)

Other finalists (in district alphabetical order)
Sophia Bedwell (202D – Wanganui Lions)
Jackson Duguid (202F – Wanaka & District Lions)
Joe Howells (202K – Mangonui Lions)
Riley Andrew (202L – Welcome Bay Lions)
Ansh Dhot (202L – Bethlehem Te Pua Lions)
Hannah Sema (202L – Karori Lions)

Thanks go to the organising committee from Rangiora Lions and the 202E Youth Coordinator, Becca Baynton, who collectively put in so much effort to ensure the smooth running of the event

What is the Young Speechmaker Contest?

Your local Lions Club will contact your School or Youth Group and offer to sponsor speakers for the District contest. They will provide copies of the Rules, and the Judges briefing and score sheets so you have a good understanding of the contest expectations.

The District contest/s are all to be completed by the 30th June  and up to two contestants from each District will come to the National (MD202) Contest in August  Travel arrangements and venue details will be provided by Lions at no cost to the contestants early in July 2023.

We encourage participation and support from fellow students, their families and Lion Club members at all contests. The only cost involved in attending is the catering charge (typically around $15) for morning tea, lunch and an afternoon tea before you all head home. Contestants are paid for by Lions.

Prizes are awarded to all winners. A4 Certificates of Appreciation are provided for all contestants to place in their CV. At national level good prizes are provided by our sponsors for the top three winners.

The Young Speechmaker rules, criteria and judging sheets are much the same as they have been for years and these are available for download from this page as is the application form.

We look forward to your students' participation.  To contact your local Lions Club directly you can search for them here and then send them a message.



Want to know more and to enter?

Read the competition rules and criteria

Complete the application form.

Get in touch with your local sponsoring Lions Club. 


Not sure where you nearest club is?  You can  search for them here.   

If you need further assistance contact us at speechmaker(at)


Lions Clubs & Districts

Instructions on running the competition and judging sheets are available here.

For further information contact your District Youth Chair or MD Coordinator.

MD202 Coordinator – Young Speechmakers Contest

Email: speechmaker(at)

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