Over 7000 new leadership, mentoring and volunteering opportunities for young people have been created as a result of investment decisions made by the Ministry of Youth Development’s Partnership Fund Board, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.
“In mid 2016, the Government committed funding to seed a Partnership Fund overseen by an independent board, with the aim of attracting investments from business, philanthropic, iwi and other partners to help grow youth development opportunities,” says Ms Kaye.
“Since then, the Board has approved investment of over $1.2 million of Government funding, alongside partner contributions of over $3 million.
“The fund was tasked with achieving 6,000 new opportunities annually, so to achieve 7,000 in its first year is a fantastic result.
“In total, I announced 26 new partnerships in the 2016/17 year. These were located throughout New Zealand, including remote communities, and included initiatives with a sports, technology, environmental, rural and creative focus. There were also programmes aimed at supporting young people with disabilities and developing future Maori leaders.
“Many of the partnerships involve multiple partners. It’s great to see there are so many individuals and organisations out there who see the value of investing in and developing our young people.
“An important goal of the Partnership Fund is supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“There are lots of young people with enormous potential living in situations where positive opportunities are limited. We want to reach out to them and provide support to transcend social barriers, and overcome issues such as family violence.
“At Waitangi last weekend, I met some outstanding young people who are part of a mentoring programme being delivered through a partnership with the Moko Foundation.
“I strongly believe that a youth development opportunity such as a mentoring relationship can turn a young person’s life around, or propel them in a whole new direction. It was amazing talking to the young people at Waitangi about the challenges they’d overcome and the positive paths they are now pursuing.
“Two nights ago, I was at Feilding High School where NZ Young Farmers hosted a prizegiving for AgriKids and TeenAg participants.
“TeenAg, which is helping to grow our future agriculture sector leaders, is another initiative supported by the Partnership Fund. It’s great to be meeting so many young people who are benefitting from these youth development opportunities.
“Often these opportunities enable young people to give something back to their community at the same time as they better themselves, such as programmes where young people learn leadership skills as they mentor other young people.
“We have so many talented young people, and it’s a privilege to see them growing and embarking on new pathways to success.
“Planning is underway for the next 12 months, with the Partnership Fund Board meeting soon to explore more potential investments.
“I’m really looking forward to what will be achieved this year, and the new partners who will work with the Government to expand the reach and breadth of youth development opportunities across New Zealand."