Word - The Front Line is no ordinary competition - it's breaking down barriers and getting young people to not only open up, but speak up.
The slam poetry competition is gaining momentum, with Tamaki Makaurau students who are all competing for their time on the big stage, but their journey starts at Slam Camp, held at Te Puea Marae.
The two-day Slam Camp is run by Action Education, and organiser Ramon Narayan says the programme is amazing.
"There's nothing more powerful than seeing a young person step up to that line and confront all of those things in a really vulnerable way, and for somebody else to hear that and connect with that and realise that they are not alone. It's just pretty amazing."
From the 44 teams that auditioned for the programme, the top 14 teams were selected and will be involved in the Slam Camp, four other workshops and the competition. Each team will also get their own mentor to guide them and give advice heading into the final Grand Slam in September.
"I've been doing like youth work for the last 17 years and this is the most powerful youth development tool or programme I've ever seen - because of that reason that it really helps you to come alongside people to build relationships and a very real and authentic way."
Word - The Front Line is into its fourth year, and Action Education is hoping to expand it nationwide soon.