Whai Wāhitanga

How youth development can enhance mana

Acknowledging mana, whai wāhitanga recognises young people as valued contributors to society, giving them space to participate, assume agency and take responsibility

Our thanks to Rawiri Tapiata, Norm Mann, JJ Rika & Arohanui West!

Mana is the authority we inherit at birth and we 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)