Our Name

Our name, Ara Taiohi was chosen in consultation with Māori executive members and kaumatua, Tamati Cairns and Ruru Hona. ‘Ara’ means ‘pathway, lane, passageway to/from’ and ‘taiohi’ means ‘young person’ in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Therefore, Ara Taiohi is the pathway to and from young people.

As a peak body we are committed to developing projects and sharing resources, tools and information to enhance practice. We bring together the power of our diverse sector to champion and advocate on issues that affects young people, and those who work with them.

Together, we create a nationwide movement of people who work with young people. Our collective skills, knowledge and passion will help shape an Aotearoa where young people are valued, included and will thrive.

Our roots are deep, they connect us to our history, to those who built the mana of youth work and youth development before us.

Our History

Since the 1960’s there is a rich history of large national youth organisations establishing umbrella organisations as a way to ‘provide a national voice on youth organisation interests’. Ara Taiohi came out of New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) and the National Youth Workers Network Aotearoa (NYWNA) coming together to form a new national youth sector organisation. Ara Taiohi was launched at the Involve national youth sector conference in November 2010 and became fully operational at the inaugural AGM in February 2011.