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New Dare Programmes Launched

New Dare Programmes Launched

New Zealand Police National News Release

27 October 2006

New Zealand Police and the DARE Foundation have joined forces to launch two programmes to help young people make safe and healthy choices about their lives.

While the programmes - DARE to be You and Reducing the Harm - are quite different, they have both been produced in direct response to increasing concerns about issues facing young New Zealanders.

"DARE to be You helps build and reinforce young people's sense of who they are," says DARE Foundation Chairperson, Stewart Skeet.

He said the Foundation supported recent comments by Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft that a change in youth offending statistics would happen only when the community owned the problem.

"DARE NZ has taken up the challenge of youth issues in the community, and actively supports our young people as they develop skills in decision making, assertiveness, responsibility and esteem, so they can live powerful and successful adult lives," said Mr Skeet.

National coordinator of Police Youth Education Service, Owen Sanders says the Police programme Reducing the Harm will help schools and their communities minimise the risk from illicit drug use.

"There has been a lot of media attention recently on methamphetamine - meth labs, the violence the drug causes and the effect it may have on our young people. Our experience is that only a small number of young people who come to notice of Police and other social agencies have been using 'P'. Most of the risk comes from children and young people living in close proximity of meth labs and the associated dangerous chemicals," he said.

However, there was overwhelming evidence that many young people were at risk from cannabis.

Mr Sanders said Police had taken a realistic approach to the problem, broadening the scope from methamphetamine to all illegal drugs. "We wanted to offer the schools something that was effective and ongoing."

DARE Reducing the Harm is a seven-step action plan that includes in-service training for staff, workshops for parents and caregivers, policy advice, peer leader involvement and cross-curricula lessons for year 11-13 students.

DARE to be You centres on a story by award-winning New Zealand author, Mandy Hager, Run for the Trees. The programme covers a range of issues relevant to young people - family, diversity, self-esteem, disability and conservation. Its five modules are designed primarily to be delivered by community facilitators working with young people with a wide range of needs, abilities and maturity.

The two programmes will be launched at 11am on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga O Aotearoa.

World rowing champions Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell will compère the event. Speakers include Assistant Police Commissioner Rob Pope and DARE Foundation New Zealand Patron Sir Douglas Graham.

There will be a demonstration by Customs drug dogs Lulu and Misty. The author of Run for the Trees, Mandy Hager, will also be speaking at the event.

For more information, and copies of the new DARE programmes, contact:

NZ Police: Owen Sanders, Coordinator Youth Education Service

ENDS

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