Today the Government announced an extra $8mil to help youth access their official documentation under their passport to life policy. Youth worker Aroha Mane says that many youth don't live with their actual parents so do not have proper documentation.
16-year-old Te Auta McPhee has no official identification documents
She says “I’m living with my aunty and uncle so I don’t have access to my passport or birth certificate because it might be with either of my parents.”
The additional $8 million allocated to Passport to Life will help people like Te Auta for things like passports, birth certificates and drivers licences.
Youth worker Aroha Mane says “One issue that we found is the basics, pretty much getting legal identification for the kids like birth certificates passports just so they can sit the license and apply for scholarships and Whare Wānanga.”
Te Auta says “It will be important to have these for my license, sitting my license getting scholarships for school and applying for jobs if needed.”
Mane says “youth are desperate. It’s usually because they live with extended family, usually living with their kuia or their aunties and uncles and the legal documents are lost in the process and some whanau can't afford.”
The office of the Minister of Māori Affairs has advised Te Kāea that the details of how and when this funding will be available has not yet been determined.