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Youth Development Strategy Fails To Deliver

The Government's upcoming Youth Development Strategy fails on all fronts - finding the problems, funding them and fixing them, says National's Youth Affairs spokesman, Simon Power.

Mr Power has obtained a draft copy of the Strategy which is to be officially released next week.

"The document may be well intentioned, but it offers few answers for the very people it's aimed at - the 12 to 25 year olds. It talks boldly of the "big picture", but there are no specifics on what's needed to help young people develop and, more importantly, how and who will pay for it.

"The Strategy talks of promoting a "whole person approach" which won't wash with a lot of young people because it's not the sort of language they use. Rather than giving them a lot of puff and rhetoric, the Government should be coming up with answers.

"For example, what does "through an appreciation of various risk and protective factors, policies and programmes can be designed which build young people's capacity to resist risk factors and enhance protective factors" really mean to young people looking for answers now?

"The 12 to 25 year olds make up 20 percent of this country's population. They deserve more than this Strategy will deliver.

Mr Power says that the document fails to recognise the work already being done by parents, caregivers and community groups in encouraging youth development.

"Many of these people will see it as stating the obvious and some will find it offensive that they're being told how to do their job. This document does little more than pay lip service to these people.

"If this is supposed to be an "action plan" for child and youth development in this country, telling people how to live their lives is not the way to go about it," says Mr Power.

Ends

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