With young people we uphold and extend manaakitanga, nourishing collective hauora.

Mana is the authority we inherit at birth and accrue over our lifetime. It determines the right of a young person to have agency in their lives and the decisions that affect them. It acknowledges self-determination, empowered citizenship and authentic learning. From this flows whai wāhitanga, participation. We enable young people to be empowered to participate when we allow all young people to navigate and participate in the world, rather than privileging the voices of a few. Young people are supported to choose their level of engagement in decisions that affect them. 

E koekoe te tūī, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū
The tūī chatters, the parrot gabbles, the wood pigeon coos

The popular meaning of this is, ‘It takes all kinds of people.’
(Mead & Grove, 2004) 

21. Whakamana | Empowerment

21.1 Youth workers acknowledge the mana of young people, and from this their right to participate. 

21.2 Youth workers understand and promote that authentic participation of young people is a defining feature of Youth Work. 

21.3 Youth workers support young people to discover their own agency and empowerment by ensuring all young people can navigate and participate in opportunities, not privileging the voices of a few. 

21.4 Youth workers act to create spaces to magnify youth voices and support young people to choose how they engage in decisions that affect them. 

21.5 Youth workers ensure self-determination for young people. Youth workers encourage, connect and enable young people to identify their own strategies to deal with challenges and the direction of their lives. 

21.6 Youth workers are resourceful in providing safe, respectful and meaningful opportunities for young people to shape their lives. 

21.7 Youth workers are aware of the potential to speak for, rescue or take over for young people, and actively work to prevent these practices.  

21.8 Youth workers work to mobilise resources and ensure young people have access to information and support. 

21.9 Youth workers are accountable for ensuring the expression of youth voices are followed up on, and that young people are informed of the outcomes.