Mana Taiohi is not a model of youth development. These principles are interconnected, holistic, and exist in relation to one another. Without any one of them the others are weak.

For a summary of the journey to establishing Mana Taiohi click here.


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. Enhancing the mana of young people means recognising what is right with them, as well as the reality of their world. Young people are supported to have a voice, work to their strengths and step into leadership.

This strength-based approach is core to a young person’s wellbeing, and is fully realised when each of the principles are embraced.

As such, ‘mana’ is an overarching principle and the following eight principles are in two sequential sections recognising:

  • Firstly, the mana young people have, and
  • Secondly, how a youth development approach enhances what exists.

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