Young New Zealander of the Year 2023

4 Apr 2023

In response to some of the media conversations this week. The Awards office makes the following statement:

Shaneel Lal has contributed massive change for and with Aotearoa in their campaigning
and determination on pushing the Conversion Therapy Ban. With this, we honour their mana, their work, and their constant fight, and their commitment to bettering communities for past, present, and future generations.

It is clear and true that Shaneel Lal has used their passion and deeply personal experiences on the front line in forums and spaces that can be unkind, and polarising.

Shaneel Lal’s efforts and commitment to the Conversion Therapy ban continue and will continue to hold significance in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

It is through a tireless drive for the rights of those who do not have a voice, that real impact has been made. This award is a recognition of the mahi that they have done, and we stand tall and proud with Shaneel Lal as our Young New Zealander of The Year, 2023’.

It takes a lot of strength to stand tall in a space that can often be filled with negativity from all avenues. In true bravery, Shaneel Lal is enabling a brighter, more inclusive future for Aotearoa, and the communities they serve. Shaneel Lal contributed to not only a win for the queer community, but also for our country.

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