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Young New Zealanders deserve praise for effort

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Minister of Youth Affairs

22 January 2013 Media Statement

Young New Zealanders deserve praise for effort

Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett congratulates the 100 young people accepted onto the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme which is running this week.

“These young people have overcome real challenges and some have been on the edge of trouble, but all have made positive change in their lives.”

“We can’t underestimate the determination needed to take a different path to your peers, these young people deserve to be celebrated through the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme,” says Ms Bennett.

The 100 young people ages 14 to 17 have been chosen for the programme following a referral from Youth Aid officers, principals and teachers and social workers in recognition of the efforts they’ve made to turn things around.

“The Prime Minister started this programme to reward these young people so this week is full of challenging, fun activities in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua.”

Activities include an Auckland Harbour Bridge climb, fishing trip, white water rafting, training with the Hurricanes, tour of Parliament, a day with the Defence Force, meeting the Royal New Zealand Ballet and a Saatchi & Saatchi workshop.

Celebrity mentors involved with the programme include Tofiga Fepulea’I, Graeme Sinclair, Trelise Cooper and players from the Hurricanes.

“This is the fourth year of the programme which has been a huge hit with young people, with some even coming back to mentor the next group.”

The PM’s Youth Programme was launched in 2010 and costs $50,000 a year.

“I thank the four providers that have committed to delivering the programme and also follow it up with three months of mentoring for each young person,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Having the right person mentoring these young people and encouraging them to stay on track makes a huge difference.”

Programme providers:

• TYLA Trust

• Village Community Services Trust

• NZ Blue Light

• Māngere East Family Services Centre

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