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Youth sector group encourages Government to engage

NZAAHD Media Release

Youth sector group encourages Government to engage

New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) President Trissel Mayor commends the announcement of the Government’s two new youth packages - Fresh Start and Break-Away.

NZAAHD is a youth sector membership-based organisation with over 370 members who work with young people across the country, and while it supports that the Government has made young people a priority, they suggest that the Government better engage with sector experts when developing its youth policy and that this would ensure that policy is based in evidence and best practice.

Ms Mayor has asked why the Government did not wait for the results of the Select Committee on the efficacy of military style training camps before it released policy that utilises them to such a large degree.

“From our understanding there was a clear majority of experts and practitioners who spoke against the use of compulsory military style training camps at the Select Committee” said Ms Mayor. “A recent systematic review of boot camps showed no overall positive effect from the military type and physical activity aspects of these programs when recidivism was used as the measure of success.”

NZAAHD promotes a best practice approach when working with young people, one that is informed by research and evidence. It supports its membership to draw on international and New Zealand based research when designing programmes for young people. Ms Mayor said “it’s only fair that we ask the same of the Government.”

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NZAAHD has commended the Government on prioritising young people, in particular in its support of youth in care, but has encouraged the Government to make the most of the expertise and experience of the people working on the frontline with young people.

“Our membership is saying that increased resources should go into preventative and early intervention initiatives and that all increased funding should support projects and services that are culturally relevant and also meet local community needs in order to reduce youth offending” said Ms Mayor, “come and talk to us, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in what works and want to be part of the solution.”

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