Young people should be empowered to create a better Aotearoa New Zealand and overcome the challenges created by previous generations.

Democracy must include young people

  • Young people should have representation or a voice on local and community boards.
  • The Local Government Act should require councils to resource Youth Councils and employ child and youth advocates.
  • Civics, human rights, and environmental education should be taught in schools.

The health system should meet the needs of young people

  • Improving youth mental health services should be an urgent government priority.
  • Government should work towards providing free healthcare for all young people, including dental and mental health care, no matter where they live.
  • Schools should teach comprehensive and evidence-based health, sex, and drug education.
  • Young people, in particular young women, should have access to family planning services.
  • Programmes for teen parents should be accessible, widespread, and well-funded.

Young people have a right to live free from violence

  • Schools and early childhood centres should be inclusive and support the elimination of prejudice, racism, bullying intimidation, and violence.
  • Schools and educational institutions should teach conflict resolution and reconciliation.
  • Schools should partner with rainbow youth organisations to reduce violence and suicide in youth LGBTQI communities.

We should take an evidence-based, harm reduction approach to drug use

  • Young people with addiction issues should have access to appropriate rehabilitation programmes designed specifically for young people.
  • The legal age for purchasing alcohol should be 18.
  • Personal cannabis use should be legal for people aged 18 and over.

Youth justice should be rehabilitative

  • The age of criminal responsibility should be 14.
  • No one under 18 should be held in a Police cell, or in a prison cell with adults.
  • Small scale youth rehabilitation centres should be established.
  • Family Group Conferences should be better resourced.
  • Tikanga Māori and marae-based justice and rehabilitation approaches should be developed, funded, and used widely in sentencing, prisons, and other parts of the justice system.
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