About us

Learn about the Ministry of Youth Development and the Minister for Youth.

What we do

The Ministry of Youth Development - Te ManatÅ« Whakahiato Taiohi - encourages and supports young people, aged between 12 and 24 years old, to develop and use knowledge, skills and experiences to participate confidently in their communities. 

We partner with others to enable, fund and promote youth development opportunities for all young people in New Zealand. The Ministry spends around $8.253 million a year on a wide range of youth development opportunities.

The Ministry is a small organisation that achieves results by working with and through others to achieve results. We work collaboratively with young people, other funders (including corporates and philanthropic organisations), providers, local government, and other government agencies.

Our priorities

The aim is for all young people in New Zealand to have the chance to participate in youth development opportunities.

In November 2015 Government agreed a new direction and priorities for the Ministry of Youth Development:

  • Increasing the number of quality opportunities for youth development overall, which includes those that provide leadership, volunteering and mentoring experiences.
  • Increasing the proportion of opportunities targeted to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Working in partnership with business and philanthropic organisations to jointly invest in shared outcomes.
  • Building a formal recognition of young people’s community and voluntary participation and contributions by having a way that this can be recorded and valued.

Youth Development

Youth development refers to activities and programmes designed to build the capability and resilience of young people aged between 12 and 24 years.

A youth development opportunity refers to a place on or participation in a youth development programme for an identifiable participant. The focus is on opportunities such as:

  • leadership: of self, of others, and/or influence
  • mentoring: for the participant or the participant mentoring others
  • volunteering.

What does building capability and resilience mean?

Building capability refers to those competencies or skills that people require to live and participate in their communities. Those competencies or skills include:

  • thinking
  • communication
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.

Building resilience refers to young people strengthening their personal identity and sense of self-worth, through managing change and loss, and through engaging in processes for responsible decision making.

They learn to demonstrate empathy, and develop skills that enhance relationships. It includes recognising or growing individual strengths such as optimism, self-esteem, good problem solving skills and personal supports. Resilience is enhanced with supportive connections.

The Ministry of Youth Development is administered by the Ministry of Social Development.

Our Minister

The Minister for Youth is Peeni Henare.

Use of the Ministry of Youth Development logo

The Ministry has strict guidelines about the reproduction and use of the Ministry of Youth Development logo.