About Us

Learn about the Ministry of Youth Development - Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi - and the Minister for Youth.

Ministry of Youth Development - Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi

The Ministry of Youth Development - Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi - encourages and supports the use of a positive youth development approach to help support all young people, aged between 12 and 24 years old, to increase their overall wellbeing so that they are better able to succeed in, contribute to and enjoy life. It also supports the broader youth sector and promotes a better understanding of how best to support and empower young people.  

The Ministry spends around $8.253 million a year on a wide range of youth development initiatives and on supporting initiatives across the youth sector.

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

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

What We Do

Our aim is for all young people in New Zealand to be able to succeed in, contribute to and enjoy life.

We support this by focusing on the following areas:

  • Funding programmes that use a youth development approach when working with young people and that deliver wellbeing outcomes for young people
  • Supporting equitable access to positive youth development programmes to help ‘level the playing field’. Seven priority areas have been identified for particular focus to help achieve this, these are;
    • Rangatahi Māori
    • Young Pacific peoples
    • Young women
    • Young people from the Rainbow community*
    • Young people with disabilities
    • Young people from ethnic communities (in particular those from a refugee and migrant background)
    • Young people living in the regions.**
  • Working in partnership with the business and philanthropic sectors, iwi and other government organisations to jointly invest in delivering wellbeing outcomes for young people.
  • Supporting the continual growth of youth sector capability.
  • Supporting youth enterprise and entrepreneurship initiatives to help prepare young people for the future work environment.
  • Ensuring that rangatahi have a voice that is heard and have opportunities for real decision-making, including at the governance table.
  • Celebrating and recognising the achievements and potential of young people.

* We use the term ‘Rainbow’ to include all people under the sex, sexuality and gender diversity umbrellas.

** 'The Regions' refers to non-urban, rural and often isolated regions across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our Minister

Hon Peeni Henare is the Minister for Youth.

Our General Manager

Juanita Te Kani is the General Manager Youth. You can get in touch with her by email: Juanita.TeKani002[at]msd.govt.nz.

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.