Youth Minister Nikki Kaye will meet a number of young people from Wellington at Parliament tomorrow night to hear their views on the future of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The high school students will make their way to Parliament after taking part in an amazing race style event around the capital as part of Youth Week 2017, which runs until 4 June.

“All over New Zealand, young people are taking part in activities to celebrate Youth Week 2017,” says Ms Kaye.

“The theme of Youth Week this year is ‘Our voices count; count our voices’, and I’m really looking forward to hear what the young Wellingtonians have to say.

“In my job as Youth Minister, I get to meet amazing young people from all over the country. We have so many talented young people with unlimited passion, intelligence, integrity and inspiration.

“Part of my job is to give them opportunities such as mentoring, volunteering and leadership development to help them learn and grow, with a focus on helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds get on a path to success.

“It’s also about recognising and celebrating the success of our young people, through events such as the annual New Zealand Youth Awards.

“We have a range of programmes throughout the year, and the Government invests on average around $8 million annually to provide these opportunities. Additional funding is provided by business, philanthropic and iwi partners who we work with to grow opportunities.

“We’re on-track to increase the number of opportunities available annually to 70,000 by next year.

“Another thing we do is encourage young people to embrace the political process, through events such as Youth Parliament.

“I know that young people care very deeply about their world and the future, and events such as Youth Parliament and Youth Week provide an opportunity for them to voice their views.”

Youth Development body AraTaiohi has received $20,000 funding to work with young people to create and run events during Youth Week 2017.

At least 40 events are being held across New Zealand including an open mic spoken word evening, dance workshops, sports competitions, a music event, a ‘Wall of Voices’ which represents young people’s views on issues important to them, and a climate challenge conference.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has come together to make Youth Week 2017 a reality,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is about encouraging young people to believe in themselves and their vision for the future, and recognising and supporting their ability to achieve their goals.”

More information about Youth Week 2017 is available here.

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