Around 100 young people who have overcome considerable challenges have been selected to participate in the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) which is taking place this week.

“The programme, now in its eighth year, is a great opportunity for Auckland-based young people aged 14-17 to be recognised for their personal achievements and community contributions,” says Youth Minister Nikki Kaye.

“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.

“Many of us know the power of one person who we believe in making a difference to our lives. For these young people it could have been their school teacher, principal, youth or social worker, a family member, Police Youth Aid officer, or other community members.

“This week is about rewarding young people and investing in their continued personal development.  Some of the activities this year include the AUT culinary school experience, a workshop at The Warehouse, white water rafting, and a sailing experience. I’d like to acknowledge the numerous sponsors who’ve got on board with supporting the PMYP and the young people taking part.

“The programme will involve a Celebration Dinner on Thursday where the young people will be celebrated for their achievements and receive their certificates. This year we are very pleased to have Paralympic double record-holder and double Gold medal winner, Liam Malone, as the guest speaker. He will talk about his life, the honour of carrying the New Zealand flag at the Paralympic closing ceremony, and his road to Rio 2016,” says Ms Kaye.

The week will end with all participants coming together for a day filled with fun challenges where they can use their leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and presentation skills in various performance, recreation and adventure-based learning activities.

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

“This programme has been hugely successful over the years with around 700 young people having taken part. As the Minister for Youth it has been a personal highlight meeting some of these young people and hearing their incredible stories and dreams for the future,” says Ms Kaye.

More information about the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme is available at

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