Steering our youth towards employment and away from the criminal justice system

The welfare of young people was the focus of two of the three statements to emerge from the Beehive since we last checked on what our ministerial servants are doing with our money.

The other was an invitation to come and slurp at an energy-policy trough into which a few million bucks of our taxes has been tossed.

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced more than $4.3 million from the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi fund will support 478 young people “to overcome barriers to employment, education and training”.

The funding will enable seven community programmes in Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui and Kāpiti to provide “pastoral care” and “pre-employment training” over two years.

Two of the programme providers, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Trust and Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust, are receiving further investment as part of this announcement. This round of funding will enable them to build on their learning and progress to date, Sepuloni said.

The point of a press statement from Justice Minister Kris Faafoi was to assure us the government is on the right track on the matter of youth crime.

He was chuffed about the latest Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report, which shows a continuing drop in the rate of youth offending.

The result follows the substantial drop in youth offending which was identified in the first Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report two years ago.

The latest report shows that between 2009/10 and 2019/20, offending rates among children aged 10 to 13 dropped by 63 percent. Over the same period, offending rates among young people aged 14 to 16 dropped by 65 percent.

The Youth Court appearance rate decreased by 47 percent between 2016/17 and 2019/20 for Māori, compared with a 27 percent reduction for European/Other.”

Oranga Tamariki, Police, and the Ministry of Justice each capture data about the performance of the youth justice system which is then analysed to produce the report.

The report can be found here.

Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods announced community organisations that can help people lower their power bills and keep their homes warmer can apply for funding in a new energy initiative.

The new Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme, launched today, is an initiative to tackle energy hardship and is aimed at households who are struggling to pay their power bills,” Megan Woods said.

The $7.91 million SEEC Programme is part of a suite of new government initiatives, and is based on recommendations in the Electricity Price Review.

The Programme’s two funding pools – the SEEC Fund and the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund – will be allocated through regular funding rounds, and are open for eligible community-level groups, organisations and businesses to apply.

The SEEC Fund can be used to help expand existing community-level energy hardship initiatives and to pilot new ones. Funding can also be used to build capability of service providers who can directly help households in energy hardship.

In the first round of funding there is up to $1.26 million available across the SEEC Fund, and the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund.

Applications for funding close on 9 February, 2021.

For more information on the SEEC Programme, eligibility criteria and application details, visit

Latest from the Beehive

23 DECEMBER 2020

Pastoral care and training for hundreds of rangatahi

Applications open for new energy education fund

22 DECEMBER 2020

Youth Justice Indicators reveal continued fall in youth offending rates

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