Sur­vey gives youth chance to speak

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Young? Want to have your say?

New Zealand’s largest youth char­ity Youth­town wants young Ki­wis to speak up on the is­sues that mat­ter most to them, through the sec­ond an­nual Voice of NZ Sur­vey.

The sur­vey aims to have a pos­i­tive em­pha­sis on un­der­stand­ing young Ki­wis’ re­la­tion­ships with fam­ily and friends, who they iden­tify with and why, and what their plans are for the fu­ture.

In 2012 more than 800 young peo­ple aged 13 to 18 can­didly shared their views.

This year Youth­town hopes the sur­vey will ex­tend its reach even fur­ther.

Teens can com­plete the sur­vey on­line un­til May 17.

Youth­town has again com­mis­sioned spe­cial­ist re­search com­pany Point Re­search to de­velop this year’s sur­vey, de­signed to fol­low the theme of Youth Week which is ‘‘live like a le­gend’’.

Youth­town chief ex­ec­u­tive Paula Kearns says last year’s in­au­gu­ral sur­vey gen­er­ated sig­nif­i­cant data from hun­dreds of young New Zealan­ders.

‘‘The re­sults were in­valu­able, giv­ing us a unique in­sight into the minds of our youth and en­sur­ing that we’re com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them in a way they un­der­stand.

‘‘We dis­cov­ered who they look up to and why, what’s im­por­tant to them and the world they live in, where they see them­selves in the fu­ture and much more.’’

The sur­vey data helps Youth­town shape its pro­grammes to sup­port young peo­ples’ per­sonal goals and as­pi­ra­tions.

‘‘Last year’s sur­vey also gave us the op­por­tu­nity to work with other youth-fo­cused stake­hold­ers to share youth views,’’ Ms Kearns says.

‘‘We al­ready have a huge amount of in­ter­est in this year’s sur­vey from both young peo­ple want­ing to have their voices heard and amongst key stake­hold­ers.’’

Be­fore de­vel­op­ing the ques­tions Point Re­search used fo­cus groups with young peo­ple and youth or­gan­i­sa­tions to iden­tify what data from last year’s sur­vey re­quires fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion and what new ground should be ex­plored.

Key youth stake­hold­ers in­cluded the Min­istry of Youth De­vel­op­ment, Auck­land Coun­cil, Youth­line, the Foun­da­tion of Youth De­vel­op­ment, Rain­bow Youth and At­ti­tude (Par­ents Inc).

Point Re­search prin­ci­pal re­searcher Alex Wood­ley says the fo­cus groups play a fun­da­men­tal role in de­vel­op­ing and shap­ing the sur­vey.

‘‘From th­ese we were also able to pin-point gaps and look into ar­eas and is­sues that have be­come more prom­i­nent over the last year.’’

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