Mana Taiohi Pledge

Te Puāwaitanga Taiohi o Aotearoa | Young people Thrive in Aotearoa

Ara Taiohi exists to support the wellbeing of taiohi and those who work with them, with the vision that young people thrive in Aotearoa.

We are a Tiriti-based membership organisation, connected to over 1,900 people who work with young people to support their positive youth development.

Our collective experience has informed government, philanthropic and private sector youth development work for more than two decades.

We know what works.

Right now, young people, and particularly youth justice, are in the spotlight again. That spotlight has seen politicians and commentators advocating a return to deficit-based policy that we, the youth sector, know won’t work.

We know young people thrive when they are put at the centre of the decisions that affect their lives, when they are supported in the context of their whakapapa and connections, and when their mana is upheld.

Mana Taiohi is our principle-based framework that informs a way of working with, and responding to, young people in Aotearoa. Informed by te ao Māori, youth development evidence and extensive consultation with young people and those who work with them, Mana Taiohi is the basis for effective and ethical responses to young people in Aotearoa.

Today we invite politicians, commentators and media to sign the Mana Taiohi pledge – to jointly take up the Mana Taiohi principles to inform an evidence-based, mana-enhancing way of working with and responding to young people in Aotearoa.

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. 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. They are recognised as valued contributors to society – not just leaders of tomorrow, but leaders today. 

We urge everyone who interacts with young people in Aotearoa to do so in a way that acknowledges and enhances their mana – in policy, practice, debate and reporting.

We must push back on approaches that only look to get involved with young people when there is a problem that needs fixing.

Today we call on you all to sign the pledge:

I pledge to acknowledge and enhance the mana of taiohi in policy, practice, debate and reporting.

Mana Taiohi pledge

Sign the Mana Taiohi pledge

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