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Budget ’18: a mixed bag for the young people of Aotearoa

Last week's budget announcements are a mixed bag for young people, according to the youth development sector.

“Overall, Budget 18 doesn’t fully align with the inspirational kōrero that we’ve heard from our new political leaders about investing in young New Zealanders,” says Anya Satyanand, the Executive Officer of Ara Taiohi, the peak body for youth development in New Zealand.

The health and education systems are getting big and much needed boosts in funding which will benefit young people, but these increases will not stretch to the youth development sector.

“Our sector is a vitally important component of the health and education systems, yet most of our member organisations have not seen funding increases for a decade. And this is despite our work becoming significantly more challenging and intensive as we’ve supported the growing numbers of young people who are falling between the gaps caused by inadequacies in the education and health systems,” says Satyanand.

One of the only areas that will receive significant new funding is “Limited Service Volunteering”, a 12 week residential boot camp style programme for young people who are not in education, employment or training.

Trissel Eriksen, the manager of the Palmerston North Youth One Stop Shop, says, “Limited Service Volunteering will work for a small number of young people, and it’s disappointing to see that it’s an initiative happening in isolation. My view is that LSV should be integrated into a wider and more holistic suite of positive youth development options, including programmes supporting young people’s general wellbeing.”

News that a new iteration of the youth health and wellbeing survey (formerly known as Youth2000) will be happening has been positively received.

“In the age of big data and a policy focus that centres on predictive risk, we think it’s crucial to have ethical research into young people’s experience of growing up. There’s been a big gap in our evidence base as a sector since 2012 when the last survey was conducted, so we think that the continuation of the survey is awesome news for the young people of Aotearoa,” says Satyanand.

ENDS


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