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New Zealand's children and young people

There are currently around 1.6 million New Zealanders under the age of 25, representing about 33% of our population. 

This population is increasingly diverse, with more and more children and young people identifying with multiple ethnicities and identities. The Strategy aims to be responsive to this diversity.

While New Zealand’s overall population is rapidly aging, Maori and Pacific People are youthful populations, with median ages of 24 and 22 years respectively (compared with 41 years for the Pakeha/European population).

While we lack recent data on children and young people with disabilities, the 2013 Disability Survey found an estimated 11 percent of those under 15 years old have disabilities.

Some young New Zealanders identify as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ (or rainbow) community. The 2018 General Social Survey found 5.4 percent of young people aged 18-24 identify as bisexual and 0.8 percent identify as gay or lesbian.

As well as focusing on young New Zealanders, the Strategy also recognises the crucial role of parents, caregivers, families and whānau and their need to have the right kind of support at the right time in order to provide a nurturing environment for their children.

Outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi Māori 

Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) will be a strong and empowering feature of the Strategy. This means transforming systems, policies and services to work better for Māori, supporting Māori to deliver solutions for Māori, and empowering local communities to make the changes that work best for them.

The Strategy also recognises tamariki and rangatahi Māori in the context of their whānau, hapū and iwi. It encourages a whānau-centred approach be applied to policy and service design and delivery. 


Find out more about New Zealand's children and young people


Last updated: 
Thursday, 29 August 2019