Ka tautoko mātou i te hunga rangatahi kia tōnui ai We help young people to thrive
There is strong evidence that positive youth development supports young people to participate confidently in their communities by building their capability and resilience. Through the Ministry of Youth Development – Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi (MYD), we support young people aged 12 to 24 years to increase their overall wellbeing so that they succeed in, contribute to and enjoy life. MYD also provides advice to the Minister for Youth to support her advocacy role for young people.
Responding to the impact of COVID-19 on young people
Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund
In partnership with the Ministry of Education, MYD established the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund in November 2020.
The Ākonga Fund supports ākonga/learners aged 12 to 21 years who have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19 to stay engaged in their education journey. It helps them develop stronger connections with self, their whānau and wider communities, and have greater engagement in their learning and aspirations for their future.
In line with the Youth Plan, the Ākonga Fund has a particular focus on programmes that support rangatahi Māori, Pacific young people, Rainbow young people, and disabled young people.
The programmes we have invested in through the Ākonga Fund to support young people to thrive include:
- Career Navigator Community Porirua (Graeme Dingle Foundation Wellington), which supports young people to understand the realities of the world of work, develop skills and knowledge and make informed career decisions, and inspire them to succeed.
- Bubblegum (South Seas Healthcare Trust), a mentoring and tutoring programme delivered using culturally relevant practices to support eligible Pacific young people to stay engaged in education and be their own agents of change
- Te Hiringa (Te Waiariki Purea Trust), an intensive programme with progressive adventure activities for rangatahi Māori that includes whānau participation, one-on-one support, home visits, support to get back into learning, and follow-up mentoring.
Support for youth providers
As alert levels moved throughout 2020/21, MYD was aware that around the motu, rangatahi and their whānau were facing different and sometimes difficult challenges.
We worked closely with youth sector providers to identify and help with immediate pressures. Youthline reported a surge in helpline contacts and an increase in care and protection matters. Young people reported feeling isolated, stressed, anxious and depressed. MYD supported Youthline with additional funding to meet the increased demand and support young people through difficult times.
To address the immediate and ongoing uncertainty experienced by providers and to reduce the burden of contestable processes on them, particularly when funding is already stretched, MYD offered eligible providers a one-off 12-month contract extension in 2021/22. This was to ensure stability and security, allowing them to focus on meeting increased demand from young people for services.
Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey
MSD is leading the first national Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey WhatAboutMe?, which is seeking the views of 14,000 young people aged between 12 and 18 years in schools, kura Kaupapa, alternative education units, and Youth One Stop Shops. Since March 2021 researchers have been travelling around New Zealand with youth workers from local communities to hear from young people.
The survey will increase the representation of child and youth voices, and data will help to measure the implementation of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the Youth Plan. Results will be available to the public in early 2022.