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Teen Sex And Drugs Don't Rock And Roll

27 January 2006

Teen Sex And Drugs Don't Rock And Roll

Research by the Adolescent Health Research Group suggesting that Maori who engage in unsafe sexual behaviour at a young age are also unhappy at home and smoke pot comes as no surprise to New Zealand First.

“It’s obvious that young people with insufficient support networks who feel neglected or unsafe are more likely to indulge in risky and inappropriate behaviour,” said Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“The fact that young Maori are more likely than other groups to be exposed to the risk factors underlines the sad reality that New Zealand has a long way to go before we can paint a rosy picture of race relations.

“I agree with the researchers’ conclusions that multiple factors influence health behaviour, and that programmes aimed at strengthening families and minimising substance abuse would be a start, including substance abuse by the parents. Too often these behaviour patterns are inter-generational.

“There should also be more focus on helping Maori achieve and succeed at school and work, which would help build self-esteem and present more options.

“The recent removal from the streets of Christchurch of four under-age prostitutes including a 12 year old girl illustrates the sad reality of the lives of some of our kids. Let’s stop talking and work out how we’re going to help them, for they belong to all of us,” said Mr Paraone.


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