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Innovation, creativity pathway for Pacific Youth

3 November 2005 Media Statement

Innovation and creativity offer economic pathway for Pacific youth

For immediate release

A Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs report has found developing the unique skills and talents of Pacific youth in the knowledge-based and emerging industries offers a possible pathway to economic success.

Ministry Chief Executive Fuimaono Les McCarthy says Ala Fou: New Pathways – Strategic Directions for Pacific Youth in New Zealand, offers an insight into the aims and aspirations of a section of society that will play a vital part in the success of New Zealand’s economic future.

By 2051, today’s Pacific youth will comprise of 13 percent of New Zealand’s workforce.

The Ala Fou report sets out five strategic priorities to give direction to Government agencies, education and training providers, families and communities, in the development of policies programmes and initiatives targeted at Pacific youth.

The theme of the report’s fourth priority, promoting innovation, creativity and enterprise amongst Pacific Youth, will discussed at the Pacific Prosperity Conference hosted by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs from November 21-23 at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau City.

Included in the 500 delegates at the conference will be 50 youth representatives who have been sponsored to attend.

“The Ala Fou report offers an insight into the views of Pacific youth as they see their economic future and how their aspirations might be achieved,” says Fuimaono.

According to the report promoting innovation, creativity and enterprise amongst Pacific youth, is one of the strategic priorities for Pacific youth to give New Zealand a competitive edge in a modern and global economy.

“It is vital for New Zealand’s economic wellbeing that today’s Pacific youth are equipped with the skills to enable them to contribute to and participate in building New Zealand’s economic future.”

The Ala Fou – New Pathways report was the result of a nationwide consultation, facilitated by the Ministry in 2003, of more than 700 Pacific youth leaders in New Zealand’s 10 major centres.

“The issues identified then are just as pressing today,” says Fuimaono.

“This report has been used for the past two years to inform the development of a number of youth focussed strategies. These include the Ministry of Social Development’s Pacific Youth Development Strategy and various youth centred initiatives and policies, still being developed to promote business and entrepreneurship amongst Pacific youth”

“Pacific people, especially our youth have innovation and creativity in abundance,” says Fuimaono.

“It is a matter of harnessing this creativity and channelling it into the new and emerging economic opportunities offered by developments in Information Communications Technology, such as the internet and the new broadband technologies.”

“Exactly how we might approach that challenge is one of the things that we expect to address in an Economic Strategic Action Plan, which will be developed in collaboration with other agencies following the Pacific Prosperity Conference.”

To download a copy of the Ala Fou report and more information the about Pacific Prosperity Conference, visit the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs website www.minpac.govt.nz


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