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Youth need vision, not grandstanding

Youth need vision, not grandstanding

Simplistic arguments and scapegoating will do nothing to help young New Zealanders, Greens Youth Affairs Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said today in response to claims by New Zealand First that cannabis use is responsible for New Zealand's poor showing in recent OECD reports.

The OECD has ranked New Zealand worst among developed countries in youth offending, suicide and cannabis use and New Zealand First's Craig McNair has accused cannabis of being responsible for the poor results.

"I am disturbed by the report which clearly shows New Zealand is not a good place for young people to live," said Nandor. "However, I am also disturbed by this complete lack of understanding by someone supposed to be a youth advocate."

"Obviously he is confusing the symptoms with the causes. Until we are prepared to look at why young New Zealanders feel so displaced in our society rather than trumpet ill-conceived and simplistic arguments, our young people will not get the respect they deserve.

"Whatever the means by which they do it, the fact that so many young people try to escape is the real issue that must be addressed.

"The divisive policies put forward by New Zealand First don't help.

"I agree that a non-political approach is needed, and on Waitangi Day we should, as a nation, have a good think about why modern-day young New Zealanders are so unhappy.

"We should develop a sense of vision and forward thinking to make our young people proud of the nation we live in, and to do this we must be prepared to address all the difficult questions.

"Cheapshots and grandstanding won't achieve this."

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