UC Business and Law Essay Competition - College of Business and Law - University of Canterbury

UC Business and Law Essay Competition

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It’s election year again and we want to hear your opinions about political parties’ policies on issues affecting the economy, employment, taxation and the justice system. Be in to win some great cash prizes for you and your school.
We have two competitions this year. A Year 9-10 & Year 11-13. Inside each competition there are four categories based on something you can study at UC Business and Law.   Each category will have three placement prizes.

  • 1st Prize: $300 for you and $150 for your school
  • 2nd Prize: $200 for you and $150 for your school
  • 3rd Prize: $100 for you and $150 for your school

Start watching the news about the election, read up about political parties’ propositions, research your topics and discuss the issues at school. Most importantly, start writing!

Year 9 and 10 Competition - What do I need to enter?

It’s simple. Write a 600-word essay on any of the following topics.


Essay topic


Will house prices drop in your area?
Describe how the economic decisions being put forward by the Government around housing are going to affect your school, your city and New Zealand as a nation.


Should a co-worker know how much you earn?
Compare and contrast how changes to transparency over incomes will either reduce inequality or if it breaches the privacy of individual’s information. Give examples of each argument from political parties in your answer.

Law and Justice

Should we be harder on Criminals?
Compare and contrast two or more political parties changes to our justice policy and the advantages and disadvantages of them.


Should we close our borders?
Identify the key issue(s) surrounding immigration for both New Zealanders and (the majority) of immigrants, and describe the consequences it has on New Zealanders and our country. .

Year 11 - 13 Competition - What do I need to enter?

It’s simple. Write an 800-word essay on any of the following topics.


Essay topic


Will you be able to buy a house when you are 40?
The rising cost of housing is set to be a major issue is this year’s election. Examine the potential effectiveness (or otherwise) of the housing policy of one of the political parties.


Should you be taxed 40% of your wage?
Some political parties are advocating for changes to our taxing system.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantage to changes to our current policy

Law and Justice

Should our justice policy change?
Compare and contrast the justice policy of two or more political parties and discuss their advantages and disadvantages (give examples of other nations who have similar policies to support your answer).

Media and Marketing

It is said that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world after China and India. YouTube is said to be the world’s second largest search engine.
Explain how digital platforms like Facebook and YouTube can be used by Political Parties to increase support for their parties and help win the election.

Then go online to www.buslaw.canterbury.ac.nz/essay/entryform.shtml, complete the entry form and submit your entry. It’s that easy!  You can enter more than one category. Each entry must be submitted on a separate entry form online. Good luck! Entries close: 5pm, Friday 29 September 2017.

Terms and Conditions

  • The essay competition is open to secondary school students in New Zealand.
  • Winners and their schools will be notified by November 2017.
  • Prize money will be direct credited to the winners’ accounts. By entering, students agree to have their names and school included on the UC College of Business and Law website for publicity and in presentations to prospective students and their schools and for other marketing and publicity as decided by the College of Business and Law.
  • The decision of the College of Business and Law will be final. The College of Business and Law may choose to award fewer prizes at their discretion. No correspondence will be entered into.

Frequently asked questions

We know some of you will have questions on format, referencing and other rules! Check out the list of frequently asked questions and answers.

Helpful Websites to get you started

Election activities around New Zealand