Essay Competition

Nation Voices essay competition results announced.20151124-Nation-Voices-Essay-competition-flyer

The McGuinness Institute is delighted to announce the winners of the Nation Voices essay competition. The topic for the essay competition was: What makes a good prime minister of
New Zealand? The essays were to focus particularly on the character, personality and skills that make for a good prime minister of New Zealand. Character is about values. Smart practice is about working on natural skills/goals 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.

The winning essay was written by Martin Holmes. As the author of the winning essay, Martin will receive a $500 cash prize, have his essay published in the upcoming book titled Nation Voices and receive an all-expenses paid trip to Wellington to attend the book launch.

Second equal runners up were Brad Olsen and Paul Winter. They will each receive a $200 cash prize.

The essays were judged by Dame Dr Claudia Orange – author and Head of Research at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; Dr Bernard Cadogan – author, Oxford educated policy consultant, political philosopher, historian and poet; and Wendy McGuinness – author and Chief Executive of the McGuinness Institute.

The three essays (unedited) are available on the McGuinness Institute website.

Martin Holmes_NV_newMartin Holmes
Read Martin’s essay

Brad Olson_NVBrad Olsen
Read Brad’s essay


Paul Winter_NV

Paul Winter
Read Paul’s essay

Thank you to all of the entrants for their hard work; the standard was high and the essays were a pleasure to read. We look forward to sharing them with the public.

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