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Launch of proposed Youth Development Strategy

April 23 2001 Media Statement

Launch of proposed Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa

Youth Affairs Minister Laila Harré is urging individuals and communities to help the government design a new strategy to boost the healthy development of young New Zealanders.

Speaking at the launch of a two-month consultation on the proposed Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa, Laila Harré said positive youth development means accepting that young people aren't just problems to be solved.

"I would like the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa to become a collective vision on how the government and everyone in New Zealand can better support young people aged 12 to 25," she said.

"This strategy won't just be a statement of what grown ups think is best for young New Zealanders. That approach leaves young people themselves out of the loop when it comes to designing the period of their lives between childhood and adulthood.

"Neither will it try and remove the risks or decisions young people face when growing up. Positive youth development means building resilience, quite simply giving young people the skills and information they need to make healthy choices.

"As adults and decision makers we should be supporting our young people and making sure they have every opportunity to be fully connected to society and participate on equal terms in decisions that affect them," Laila Harré said.

The strategy will become a framework for goals and actions that everyone involved with young people can refer to make sure they are working towards a common end, and achieve the best possible results.

Its six draft goals are:

- Get all sectors of government to understand and use a youth development approach in their work
- Increased participation of young women and men in decision making
- Provide a clear and coordinated approach to youth development programmes and activities
- Help adults understand and support young people better
- Support rangatahi (young Maori) development in the best possible way
- Support young Pacific peoples' development in the best possible way

The public can provide feedback on the strategy in two ways – meetings around the country during May and June or through written submissions.

The youth resource, Helping the Government get it Right, has also been developed to encourage young people to have their say.

Information on all of these options is available from Tuesday April 24 on http://www.youthaffairs.govt.nz.

Submissions close on June 15.

Note:

Hon Laila Harré will launch the Supporting the Positive Development of Young People in New Zealand discussion document at 10am on Tuesday April 24 at the Te Tari Taiohi Shield Challenge in Auckland.

The shield challenge is a gathering of about 140 Youth Corps members from around the North Island being held at the Ngataranga Sports Field, Devonport Naval Base, Jim Titchener Pde, North Shore.

ENDS

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