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Maori providers delivering Mates and Dates lessons

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The Accident Compensation Corporation is defending a programme aimed at reducing sexual assaults among young people.

Maori sexual and reproductive health promotion organisation Te Whariki Takapou says the $18 million Mates and Dates programme lacks Maori context and it should be replaced by culturally appropriate teacher-led sexuality education in schools.

But ACC injury prevention manager Mike McCarthy says the corporation worked with experts including Maori to develop the programme.

He says evaluations show it is more likely to be successful with Maori and Pacific Island rangatahi than other ethnicities.

"There are a number of the provider organisations who have Maori facilitators and where possible it's appropriate to bring that particular lens and that cultural aspect to the delivery in schools that perhaps have a higher dominance in a particular group," Mr McCarthy says.

Last year the ACC spent $27 million on sensitive claims from the 14 to 24 age group, with about a third of the claims coming from Maori and claims increasing by 18 percent on the previous year.

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