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Pacific Youth Development Strategy launched

24 June 2005
Media Statement

Pacific Youth Development Strategy launched

A new Pacific Youth Development Strategy to improve the wellbeing of young Pacific peoples has been launched by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

The Pacific Youth Development Strategy has been developed using a talanoa process involving Pacific youth, Pacific community leaders and government agencies. It aims to deliver positive life-change and affirmation for all Pacific youth in Auckland.

The talanoa process has seen an External Reference Group established which will continue to provide opportunities for co-operation and collaboration in designing approaches to work with Pacific youth through a wide variety of social development areas.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said the strategy aims to prepare Pacific youth, through education and employment, to enjoy the opportunities presented by the country’s economic and social development.

“The Pacific population is young and dynamic with abundant energy and potential. Strategies such as this enable that energy and potential to be harnessed to benefit both the young people themselves and New Zealand,” said Helen Clark.

Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment, Taito Phillip Field, says now is the right time to launch a development strategy for Pacific youth.

A growing Pacific population combined with the country’s declining birthrate and ageing population means Pacific peoples will become an increasingly important part of the future workforce says Taito Phillip Field.

“The Pacific Youth Development Strategy is our means of ensuring that Pacific youth, today and in future generations, are willing and able to participate in New Zealand’s growing economy, to be a valued part of the workforce, and to achieve their potential,” says Taito Phillip Field.

The Pacific Youth Development Strategy has three key focus areas:

1. Parents – First Role Models
Focus on the function and importance of parents as role models and key influences in the development of Pacific young people

2. Education – Empowering Pacific Youth
Focus on the importance of an education system which responds in an effective way to meet the needs of young Pacific people and providing opportunities to achieve

3. Church – Enhancing Community and Family
Focus on the church and its role in enhancing the wellbeing of Pacific young people and their families. Recognising that while there can be a disconnection between young people and the church, spirituality plays a significant role in the lives of Pacific young people.

The next phase of the strategy will see working groups identify and implement specific projects which will support these key areas.

“This strategic initiative has the potential to be a model that other agencies and regions in New Zealand can use to continue to improve the social outcomes of Pacific youth,” says Taito Phillip Field.

Ends.

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