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Call for Govt to take a position on youth ministry

Media Statement for Immediate Release
Tuesday 9 December

Call for Government to take a position on youth ministry

People who work with youth are calling on Government to support a strong stand-alone Ministry of Youth.

Representatives of the youth sector will be holding a forum with 15 representatives from across parliament on Wednesday. More than 30 youth sector leaders would attend the lunchtime meeting, organised by New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development.

Research would be launched at the meeting, which shows 95% of people that work with young people want a strong Ministry of Youth Development.

New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) executive officer Sarah Helm said they had commissioned the survey out of concern regarding political commitment to the Ministry.

"We keep hearing rumours that our youth ministry is going to be collapsed."

Yet there was clear support from within the multi-disciplinary youth sector for a more focussed, dedicated Ministry of Youth.

"We want Government to come forward and make it publicly known that they will not only support a continued Ministry of Youth, but a strengthened stand-alone Ministry that is committed to promoting youth development," she said.

"Our sector knows that a dedicated Ministry of Youth is essential in order for government to make effective policy to address youth issues."

Most survey respondents (58%) also thought the Ministry needed to be a stand-alone government department.

"The survey showed that people who work with youth perceive that the Ministry needs to stand-alone to be more effective."

The research was conducted by Dr Fiona Beals, and included 155 people - mostly organisations - that work with youth across New Zealand.

MP's would also hear presentations on the recently launched Youth '07 study, as well as perspectives from youth workers, a Maori youth expert and NZAAHD at the lunchtime forum. The forum would be held from 12-1pm at Turnbull House.


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