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Young Kiwi males at top of policy agenda

2 September 2004

Young Kiwi males at top of policy agenda

Youth Affairs Minister, John Tamihere, will launch Young Males: Strengths-based and Male-Focused Approaches tomorrow at Youthline Auckland. The report follows hot on the heels of the speech to St Peter's College on the considerable issues facing young Kiwi men.

"This review is part of a work stream that will put young Kiwi males at the top of the policy agenda," John Tamihere said.

Young men are disproportionately represented in a number of negative statistics. They are more likely to be unemployed, suspended from school or appear before the courts, compared to their female counterparts.

"Young men are not a problem to be fixed. They require positive role models and direction in their lives."

"Their bubbling latent potential must be realised for their benefit but, more particularly, for their families and communities benefit," said John Tamihere.

The Ministry of Youth Development has recognised that a number of agencies and organisations currently deliver programmes, initiatives and interventions to assist young men.

"This review is tailored to be useful to both current programme providers, and anyone considering developing programmes for young men."

"Its a strengths-based approach and one of the first Government publications to record young men not as ‘at risk’, but as inherently ‘at promise’ of healthy lives.”

"Male-focused approaches understand that young men have a set of characteristics, preferences and forms of expression that are different, not wrong,” says John Tamihere.

The review identifies that one of the key influences in young men’s lives are males, especially fathers.

Other findings include young men’s reluctance to ask for help in public or group situations because of their drive for independence and individuality, and the limited range of feelings they are comfortable expressing publicly.

The review is intended to inform potential action options and policy directions and is designed to be useful to anyone thinking about developing programme for young men.

“This work is important. Too little research focuses on the influences of gender on either programme delivery or outcomes. With work like this, New Zealand can make a significant contribution to the evidence base internationally,” John Tamihere said.

ENDS

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