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Government's youth health priority doesn't extend to funding

15 October 2012: The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is dismayed to learn of the closure of an important youth health Service. WAVES is a one stop youth health service that provides a range of health and social services to more than 3000 young people in New Plymouth.

NZNO associate professional services manager, Hilary Graham-Smith says, “Continuous funding for innovative, wrap-around services, such as WAVES, is an ongoing problem with such services often attaining set-up funding but with no long-term funding commitment despite meeting hard to reach populations.  NZNO has seen time and again new services meeting particular population needs abandoned despite quality outcomes. Cutting funding to WAVES flies in the face of the government initiatives for youth health and wellbeing announced this year.” 

“The Government clearly signalled that youth mental health and an increased responsiveness to youth health issues was a priority. And yet, less than six months since the announcement, youth heath services are being cut.”

“WAVES is an excellent example of innovative and responsive primary health care provided by health care professionals with significant expertise and experience of working with young people.  Health services need to be available and accessible for everyone and evidence shows that ‘mainstream’ health care does not work for young people.”

“That’s why one stop health services like WAVES are so important. It is vital that we have youth-friendly services for young people that address their physical needs but also support them through a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable – the transition from childhood to adulthood,”  Hilary Graham-Smith says.

“Where is the commitment to the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand?”

Direct Media Enquiries To:

Please send all media requests in writing to

NZNO communications and media advisors are:

Karen Howarth
027 725 2680  |  04 494 8242

Samesh Mohanlall
021 240 3420  |  04 494 6839

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