About us

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 $7.1 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.

Active Youth Citizenship

Active Youth Citizenship is about increasing young people’s ability to participate in society through building their:

  • confidence
  • leadership, and
  • self-management skills.

This leads to better participation and achievement in education.

Youth Development

Youth development opportunities create confident, self-sufficient kiwis

Leadership, volunteering and mentoring experiences, build the strength and resilience of young people, and give them access to new experiences, people and skills. Research shows that taking part enables young people to positively participate in and contribute to their communities, and to become strong, confident, and more self-sufficient.  

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

Our history

In 1988 Government recognised that young people had little influence in decision-making processes, despite being profoundly affected by social, economic and political conditions. As a result, the Ministry of Youth Affairs was established.

In 2003, following a review by the State Services Commission, the new Ministry of Youth Development was created out of Youth Affairs and the youth policy functions of the Ministry of Social Development.

Late in 2015 Government agreed a new direction and priorities for the Ministry of Youth Development. These resulted in the Ministry focusing on increasing the number and quality of youth development opportunities including partnering with philanthropic and corporate sector funders of youth development, and increasing the proportion of funding targeted to young from disadvantaged backgrounds. The new direction and priorities took effect on 04 April 2016.

Our Minister

Minister of Youth Affairs is Hon. Nikki Kaye

The Minister for Youth is Hon. Nikki Kaye.

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.