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Government challenged to prioritise support for young people

Peak body challenges government to prioritise support for young people in 2016 Budget as sector leaders gather

Ara Taiohi, peak body for youth development, is calling on the government to prioritise spending on all young people in the 2016 budget. “We think that investment in our young people in Aotearoa should take priority over tax cuts,” says Anya Satyanand, executive officer at Ara Taiohi, peak body for youth development.

“Youth development changes lives for the better, and provides huge returns on investment. A recent study from America determined that for every dollar spent on youth development programmes focused on resiliency and prevention, twelve dollars of value is returned.” Satyanand’s statements are being delivered ahead of a youth development sector leadership event. “Today, as part of Youth Week 2016, we’re bringing together a group of sector leaders who deliver youth development programmes right across the spectrum of our diverse youth communities. We’ve got amazing expertise in the room, and we’re keen to see this expert sector invested in by government, for the benefit of young people in New Zealand.”

The Ministries of Social and Youth Development have given clear indications in the leadup to the budget that disadvantaged and vulnerable young people will be a big focus for youth spending. “We believe strongly that resourcing to our young people who most need support should be increased. We’d hate for this additional resourcing to come at the expense of the preventative programmes that New Zealand has gained an international reputation for excellence in. Both are important. Youth development is something that all our young people should be able to access,” says Satyanand. “Programmes which build on strengths and promote resilience and positive engagement produce good outcomes for all young people.”

Ara Taiohi is hosting a crowd of over 80 sector leaders from across the youth development spectrum, who have come to participate in a workshop run by Katie Acheson, CEO of Youth Action New South Wales and Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. Youth Action NSW are about to release a groundbreaking piece of research where the voices of 3500 young people from across Australia speak about the political issues that matter to them. “Katie’s experiences in Australia provide an awesome starting point for a discussion about shared outcomes and sector wide collaborations. We’re also formally launching a sector collaboration which will culminate in a national conference on youth development in 2018,” says Satyanand, proudly.

“Youth development is the key to creating the conditions for our increasingly diverse young people to thrive. We want to see every young person take up hopeful and contributing positions as members of our democracy, economy and communities.”


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