Youth development fund programmes named

  • Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

Eight community-based programmes around the country will receive funding over the next three years under a special Youth Development Fund, Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder announced today.

The Fund forms part of the Government's National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy and is a crucial step in the bid to halt the appalling waste of young lives in this country, he said.

"We have to look after our young people. We must help them develop new skills, a sense of self worth and the will to succeed. Only in this way will our young people realise their full potential and make positive contributions to their communities."

Mr Elder said decisions on the distribution of the Community-based Youth Development Fund have been made jointly by community representatives and officials of the Department of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Te Puni Kokiri. The Community Funding Agency also provided input.

"Priority was given to areas of the country with the highest rates of youth suicide and attempted youth suicides, where the risk factors underlying youth suicide are more apparent and where there are noticeable gaps in youth development opportunities," he said.

"The youth population profile, New Zealand Employment Service data and the Index of Deprivation produced by Victoria University's Wellington School of Medicine Health Services Centre were some of the identification tools used."

Mr Elder said a total of 30 proposals were received from the target areas and from these eight programmes were selected to share in the $450,000 (GST inclusive) funding available over each of the next three years.

"Decision-makers took into account a number of factors including the ability of the applicant group to provide positive alternatives for young people in their area, to address youth development needs. Clearly, organisations also had to be able to demonstrate good community support," Mr Elder said.

The successful Youth Development Fund programmes are: Te Tai o Marokura, Kaikoura ($67,500); Waitomo Papakainga Development Society Inc., Kaitaia ($67,500); Te Puna ora o Wairarapa, Masterton ($67,500); Te Aria Toka Family Service Centre, Opotiki ($67,500); Papakura District Truancy Service, Ola Mautinoa, Papakura ($67,500); Hosanna World Outreach, Lower Hutt ($67,500); NZ Aids Foundation, National ($22,500); and Northern Buller Community Society Inc., Granity ($22,500). (All grants are GST inclusive and the successful organisations will receive the same amount over each of the next three years).