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Key slips on youth initiatives

12 March 2008 Media Statement

Key slips on youth initiatives

“John Key should look in his own backyard before he criticises initiatives that are making a difference for young New Zealanders,” says Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

“It’s a bit rich for someone who presides over a party with no youth policy, to be critical of the efforts of those who are genuinely working, and encouraging young people to reach their potential.”

Responding to John Key’s speech on the state sector, which criticised the Ministry of Youth Development’s “Going Global” initiative, Nanaia Mahuta said Mr Key would do better to get on with producing evidence that National actually has a policy for youth which will make a difference.

“It’s all very well for Mr Key to be critical, but I haven’t seen any evidence that he is offering anything tangible for young New Zealanders,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“This is another example of a National party that doesn’t care about youth. Their focus is only on the negative and offering no positives to encourage youth talent and creativity.”

“This Labour-led government has, and will continue to support our young people. They are the leaders, workers and parents of tomorrow so providing opportunities for them to get ahead and succeed, is crucial,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta said the government was a firmly committed to ensuring young people are given the chance to be heard, through initiatives like the “Going Global” booklet, which was first printed in 2006.

“The Going Global project was a direct response to numerous requests from young New Zealanders wanting to take part in youth-related events overseas, to get practical advice and information. By rubbishing the project, John Key is rubbishing young New Zealanders and their views,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta said Going Global is just one example of what has been achieved for young Kiwis under the Labour-led government.

“The Labour-led government has expanded workplace training, lowered youth unemployment rates, launched the Youth Development Partnership Fund which supports projects in communities, not to mention increasing the youth minimum wage every year since we have been in Parliament,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“What has National done for our young people?”

ends

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