Between 20 July and 7 August 2018, ActionStation gathered the views of more than 1,000 young people (aged 12 - 24) and a handful of youth workers and policy experts about what youth wellbeing looks like in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We gathered these insights in three ways:
A 28 question online survey answered by 1,045 young people
12 interviews with a diverse range of young people, youth workers and researchers with expertise
16 rapid-fire workshops with 149 young people and youth workers
More females took part than males or gender diverse and non-binary people. Survey respondents came from all around the country with the largest numbers of people coming from Auckland (183), Wellington (151) and Christchurch (117). Workshop participants came from all around the country, with the greatest representation from Wellington (34), Auckland (10) and Whangārei (9).
Our interviews ranged from 23 to 51 minutes long and were conducted mostly via Zoom, an online video conferencing technology. We spoke to 12 people. A mixture of young people, youth workers and policy advisors or academic researchers with knowledge in this space.
The nine broad themes that rose to the top from the young people and professionals we spoke to in this research are:
The young people we spoke to want better, more accessible mental health services, education and support specifically for young people
Young people we spoke to highlighted economic insecurity, unaffordable housing, student debt and insecure low paid work as significant contributors to their anxiety and stress. Many want a kinder, fairer economy and meaningful secure work
Almost half of the young people we surveyed chose “body image” as one of their biggest concerns. We think this should concern us
The young people we engaged want to see an end to oppression of all kinds - no more racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or ableism
The young people we spoke with love Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural environment, and they’re worried we’re not doing enough to protect it or our planet
The young people we spoke to value accessible and affordable education, but they worry they are not being equipped with the life skills and knowledge they need to be flourishing in the 21st century
Young people have grown up in the era of the individual, but the taiohi we spoke to carry an innate desire for community and communal spaces
Young people need more great role models in their community, on TV and in positions of power and leadership
Young people should be taught about how to go about making change in their community and country, and people in positions of power need to get better at listening and being responsive