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Kiwi Kids Need Good Role Models, Says Maharey

Good role models are essential for every child to grow successfully into adulthood, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey addressed the inaugural conference into youth mentoring in NZ in Dunedin this afternoon. Changes in family structure, including the loss of regular contact with members of the extended family, has seen many children lose the traditional support and guidance provided by aunts, uncles and grandparents. Mr Maharey said it was important that children continued to receive effective mentoring.

"Giving our kids the best start in life is essential if they are to achieve their potential. We must ensure that families and other adults are good role models for our children.

"Youth mentoring has been proven to be an effective measure to prevent youth offending, to encourage young people to recognise the value of getting a good education and to build their skills to be caring members of society.

"A number of organisations are offering professional mentoring services for our young people. They provide the essential guidance and support which members of the extended family often provided in the past. The Government will continue to support these services because we want every child to achieve their full potential in adulthood.

"I commend youth mentors for coming together in Dunedin to work on developing sound ethical and best practice principles for their profession in New Zealand", Steve Maharey said.

Ends


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