The Youth Affairs Minister is rejecting criticism of a National Hoodie Day planned for Friday.
Minister Nanaia Mahuta is launching youth week on Monday, which has been organised by the New Zealand Adolescent Health and Development organisation.
As part of the week of events, this Friday is National Hoodie Day, where organisers want people to wear a hoodie to challenge youth stereotypes.
But New Zealand First MP Ron Mark says the idea is bizarre, given many people, particularly elderly, are scared of teenagers walking around wearing hoodies.
Mark says there are better ways of promoting youth, such as getting them involved in community work.
But Mahuta says Mark is just focusing on the negatives.
She says a whole lot of young people wear hoodies, not just thugs, and people shouldn't be judged by what they wear.
Mahuta says she wears hoodies, and the idea behind Hoodie Day is to redefine people's perceptions of young people.