Mana Tu Rangatahi Youth Service

Youth empowered by Mana

Te Tuinga Whanau’s Youth Services department enjoys consistently positive outcomes in their work with rangatahi (young people). This is due to our unique approach which incorporates practice-based learning and Te Ao Maori - best explained by the following philosophies and models of practice.

philosophies and models of practice:


“There are two gifts we should give our children; one is roots; and the other is wings.”

Simply meaning that we need to reconnect our children to their heritage and identify and foster their innate talents.


Practical first, theory after.

Simply meaning, focus on practical activities but only provide enough information for that young person to achieve that activity. Only when that young person has done the activity will they now have an invested interest in it. So now they are open to learning the details, stories and whakapapa behind the activity.


“Catch a kai, cook a kai”

Hunting and fishing is great for piquing initial interest and engagement. Think about it, for hundreds of thousands of years our ancestors hunted, foraged and fished which has become hardwired into our DNA. 9 out of 10 young people, regardless of race or creed, will be drawn to these activities. Growing a garden and providing food for yourself is an important skill to have.


The Koura (crayfish) model of practice:

A crayfish grows by shedding its old shell by pumping sea water between the old shell and its soft tissue. When the shell pops off it hides for a few days until the new shell hardens. In applying this to working with challenging youth, one could say that the young person comes with a hard shell created from their upbringing and environment and no matter how hard one tries to break through the shell this doesn’t work. However, if the young person was to undertake a safe structured activity that causes positive internal growth within the young person then that inner growth will make that hard outer shell tight, uncomfortable and no longer suit the needs of that young person so they therefore shed those old behaviours and attitudes.
Rangi Ahipene ©2014



Sports allows for the building of strong bodies through exercise and strong minds through the disipline and focus needed to in competitive sport. Our rangatahi team (TTDubs) currently play in the mixed social grade touch competition in Tauranga.


Academic Education

To support this we have relationships for in school mentoring/support with other service providers. These are tailored to support our rangatahi and their individual needs.

In addition to the above, the Māori values of aroha, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga help to give the young person a sense of belonging and acceptance.

We currently service two Fresh Start Contracts, for the Ministry of Youth Justice, namely Supported Bail and a Community Youth Programme. However, we are always open to expanding our services to meet our community’s needs.


Supported Bail

Supported Bail is a short-term intensive intervention for young people on remand.  A young person who has been charged with a moderate to serious offence within the Youth Justice system may be referred by Youth Justice to our Supported Bail programme.  The main objective of the programme is to positively influence the young person not to re-offend and/or break bail conditions.  It is a one on one programme that centres around positive interests that the young person may have.


te orokohanga youth programme

Te Orokohanga is a preventative mentoring initiative to engage with at-risk youth within our Transitional Housing and the wider community.

Our mentors facilitate after school pro-social activities for our youth to participate in and connect with their community in positive ways. They also provide additional one on one mentoring where additional support or transition back to educational pathways is required.

The process of carving a traditional bone hook.

The process of carving a traditional bone hook.



ADAM ‘MANI’ SHARPLIN    Supported Bail Manager


Supported Bail Manager

MARCIA TAIKATO-WHAUWHAU    Te Orokohanga Facilitator


Te Orokohanga Facilitator

TE ARAHI BRYERS    Te Orokohanga Facilitator


Te Orokohanga Facilitator

To motivate someone, you have to empower them and lead them towards something they want. That’s a big shift!
A big thanks to  TECT  for sponsoring our boat!

A big thanks to TECT for sponsoring our boat!

Thanks to  NZCT  for giving our youth the opportunity to have some awesome golf lessons at Tauranga Golf Club!

Thanks to NZCT for giving our youth the opportunity to have some awesome golf lessons at Tauranga Golf Club!

I would like to acknowledge Te Tuinga Whanau as one of the most committed and proactive NGO’s that I have had the privilege to work alongside. There is a consistent responsiveness to youth needs - assisting and supporting positive outcomes, with attention to addressing the factors that contributed to the young person’s offending. There is also a clear pathway of practice and transparency between all parties, together with strong principles promoting Te Reo Maori .
— Saron Williams, Senior Practitioner, CYF