Prime Minister’s Youth Programme acknowledges inspirational young people

  • Hon Peeni Henare

Around 100 young people are participating in the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP), gaining confidence to make key life changes.

The programme, now into its ninth year, is a great opportunity for Auckland-based rangatahi aged 14 to 17, to be recognised for their personal achievements and community contributions, says Minister for Youth Peeni Henare.

“These young people have overcome adversity and made a sustained attempt to make positive life changes such as moving away from low levels of offending, truancy or poor academic performance. They have been nominated to attend the programme by people who have worked closely with them and know them well,” says Mr Henare.

Bluelight, Greater Than, Village, Youthline and YouthTown are the key youth-focused organisations supporting the young people through this programme. These organisations will provide mentoring support to participants for three months post this week’s activities.

“This week was about rewarding young people and also investing in their continued personal development. Rangatahi participated in activities such as a water safety module with New Zealand Fire and Emergency, an AUT culinary school experience, a career workshop with Air New Zealand, and an Auckland Blues sports experience. I’d like to acknowledge the numerous sponsors who’ve got on board with supporting PMYP and the young people taking part.”

“The programme has helped me do things I would never have done. I learnt to make a three-course meal. Cooking isn’t my strength but we all worked as a team and that made it easier,” says Taylor Joe, current PMYP participant.

PMYP culminated with a Celebration Dinner where the rangatahi were recognised for their achievements and received certificates from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Youth Peeni Henare. 

“This year we were very pleased to have Stan Walker as the guest speaker. He spoke about his life and how he overcame challenges to achieve fame as a recording artist, actor and television personality. I could see how inspired the rangatahi were by his experiences and I’m sure that these young people will achieve similar success in the future,” says Mr Henare.

Current PMYP participant, Quincy Moka had this to say:

“I went through some rough patches and wanted to make some changes in my life. The Programme has helped me do that. I want to get into the automotive industry and help youth today.”

“This week is an important time to recognise and celebrate this group of young New Zealanders who, despite incredible challenges, are doing very well. This programme is all about investing in them to build capability and resilience so that they can thrive now and into the future,” says Mr Henare.

“The programme really helped me at school. It made me work harder. It gave me confidence. I’m going to university this year to do Commerce; I want to be an accountant. Both Taylor and I have been really influenced by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as a female Prime Minister to do well when we are older,” says Milan Silugga, past PMYP participant.


Contact: Patisepa Helu 021 821 562