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Youth survey shows life for young New Zealanders improving

Youth survey shows life for young New Zealanders improving

Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye has today released the latest survey about the health and wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students.

“It is encouraging that on a number of critical measures life has improved considerably for young people compared to 10 years ago,” Ms Kaye says.

“This survey – the latest in a five-yearly survey cycle of New Zealand secondary school students – shows clear evidence of a marked reduction in tobacco, alcohol and drug use by young people over this time period.

“It shows schools are improving support systems for students to keep them engaged in education and most students report caring and supportive families.

“The reductions in substance use, combined with good relationships, will improve young people’s current physical and mental health profoundly and the longevity of their generation, the survey finds.

“However, the survey shows some areas we need to focus on. We have some long-standing issues for young people in terms of mental health. The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health project is focused on addressing this.

“There are also some issues that appear to relate to challenging economic times globally.

“This survey data will be important to help address some of these issues. Community groups, Government and other policy makers will be able to use this data to shape future policy to continue to improve the lives of young people,” Ms Kaye says.

Ms Kaye says the survey, conducted by the Adolescent Health Research Group (AHRG), presents robust data with participation by 8500 students. The survey was funded by the Ministries of Youth Development, Social Development, Health, Education and Justice, the Department of Labour, the Families Commission and the Health Promotion Agency.

From 5pm today the full survey can be found at:



Youth 2012 is the third in the Youth 2000 Survey Series. The previous two were conducted in 2001 and 2007. In the 2012 survey, 8500 students from 91 randomly selected schools from around the country answered up to 600 questions on all aspects of their lives. Further Reports on Youth 2012 findings will be released over the coming months.

Some interesting Facts from the 2012 Survey

  • 42% of the young people reported they belonged to more than one ethnic group. In 2001, only 29% said they belonged to more than one ethnic group.
  • Samoan and Tongan young people are the most proud of their culture and heritage.
  • Only 56% of males say they will go on to more education and training when they leave school, compared with 71% of females.
  • The percentage of young people with good or very good emotional wellbeing has remained consistent between 2007 and 2012 (78.5% in 2007 and 76.2

Nikki Kaye August 1st 2013 2012