The government is putting $42 million over four years towards regional projects to help at-risk young people into jobs, Prime Minister Bill English says.
Mr English said a further $8m would be invested in initiatives aimed specifically at giving young Māori the skills they needed to find work.
He said the money would go to regions where there was the highest proportion of young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
The Youth Employment Pathways programme will work intensively with the 5280 most at-risk unemployed young people in Hawke's Bay, Northland, the Eastern Bay of Plenty and East Coast.
Mr English said it would involve employers, training providers, NGOs and government agencies working together.