Meet our guest judges

To help us choose some top entries from the art and poetry you share through Dreams for the Decade, we’ve invited some guest judges to tautoko our kaupapa!


Ruby Jones

We are very excited to welcome internationally renowned artist and author Ruby Jones as a guest judge. Ruby is a Wellington-based illustrator who works primarily in digital form. She is best known for her drawing of two women embracing in a hug with the words ‘this is your home and you should have been safe here’ which was spread widely following the 2019 Christchurch terror attacks. Since then she has illustrated a cover for Time magazine and released her first book All Of This Is For You through Penguin Random House.

“Dreams for the Decade was a very special project to be a part of and it warmed my heart to see how brave, thoughtful and kind our future generations already are at such a young age. I hope this competition can continue to grow and expand for many years to come.”
– Ruby Jones


Leilani Tamu

We are also very excited to be working with celebrated New Zealand poet Leilani Tamu as a guest judge. Leilani is a former NZ diplomat, published poet, Fulbright alumna and the current Manager Pacific Policy at MBIE. She has a first class Masters in Pacific History from the University of Auckland and was recently nominated as one of their Top 40 under 40 alumna.

Leilani has published two books, and co-written a NZ Film Commission-funded short film, Sista*. She delivers months book reviews on RadioNZ’s Nine to Noon programme, and is a director of two companies, The Food Waste Fairy Ltd and Manusina Productions. Her ancestral and marital connections are to the islands of Samoa, Tonga and Niue, and, most importantly, she is the proud mother of Kahlei (10) and Luka (6).

“Now more than ever listening to the voices of our young people is critical as we collectively look to an uncertain future and try to grapple with so many complex challenges. Across all of the age categories and entries received as part of Dreams for a Decade I observed a powerful common thread: hope for a future that is more inclusive, equitable and kind. The responsibility is now on us, all of us, to lean in and help realise this shared dream”
– Leilani Tamu