Regions - #1 Northern Region - 2639 Members Regions - #2 South Island Region - 2504 Members Regions - #3 Central Region - 2310 Members Districts - #1 Waikato - 713 Members Districts - #2 Christchurch - 617 Members Districts - #3 North Auckland - 599 Members 6421 Total Youth Members 1123 Total Youth Leaders

Celebrating 90 Years of St John Youth in New Zealand

Jan 01 2017

Sarah Manley

St John has great pride in offering the St John Youth programme – New Zealand’s best youth development organisation and this year we are celebrating a speical year, St John Youth in New Zealand turns 90 years old. 

Check back here often to find out information on the exciting programme of events being arranged to celebrate this special milestone during 2017.

– Sarah Manley, Director of Community Health Services


Ella McClure

As a young person within our youth programme, I am excited to know that our programme continues to thrive in such a rapidly changing environment and 90 years on we still have a vibrant thriving youth programme that so many young people take great pride in belonging to.  Celebrating 90 years of St John Youth will be something to remember and I look forward to being part of it with you.

– Ella McClure, National Cadet of the Year  


A Brief History


On connections

CadetThe Order of St John – its full name is The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem – has a unique combination of features. It is an organisation which:

  • stems from roots that began in the 11th  Century;

  • in its current form, was incorporated in the United Kingdom by a Royal Charter granted by Queen Victoria in 1888;

  • is an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown;

  • is one of five mutually recognised Orders of St John;

  • through its members, is a Christian community;

  • is a major international charity, recognised at the United Nations, that carries on its activities in more than 40 countries; and

  • has about 25,000 members worldwide and is supported by over 8,000 salaried employees as well as by about 400,000 regular volunteers and numerous other supporters.

St John in New Zealand

CadetsSt John was established in New Zealand at a public meeting in Christchurch on 30 April 1885, at St Mary’s Church, Merivale, followed later the same year by a Centre in Wellington.

The first Division in New Zealand of the St John Ambulance Brigade (the operational uniformed branch) was formed in Dunedin in December 1892.

In 1927, the Brigade formed a Cadet Section in Wanganui to train young people in the skills of first aid and health care, as well as encouraging life skills and good citizenship.

A Commandery of the Order was formed in New Zealand in 1931 which created a governance board and gave some local powers. The Commandery was raised to the status of a Priory in 1946, which allowed for a large degree of autonomy, but within the framework of Royal Charters, Statutes and Regulations of the Order.

The Prior (by convention the Governor-General) is supreme head of the Order in New Zealand, executive responsibility being delegated to the Chancellor, through the Priory Chapter and the Priory Trust Board.

 The reigning monarch of the United Kingdom is the Sovereign Head of the Order, and the Grand Prior of the Order is always another senior member of the British Royal Family. His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has held this role since 1974. 

On volunteering

In New Zealand volunteering for St John has always been a noble pastime, because the services we provide benefit everyone. The volunteers of the late 1800s got involved by raising funds, attending first aid lectures and helping with the administration of the organisation – three areas of volunteer commitment that remain popular to this day, Did you know that we have over 6,000 youth members and 900 youth leaders involved in our programme today.

On schools and careers

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