Empower Rangatahi


The "Manawa Ora" program, designed to empower rangatahi and wahine māori in Canterbury, spans four 12-week wānanga over 10 months. The program aims to assist 20 participants in securing essential documents, navigating pathways into education, training, or employment and enhancing self-confidence and leadership skills.

Divided into distinct phases, the program initiates with establishing foundations, emphasizing cultural identity and holistic well-being followed by pathways to education and training focused on essential document access and personalised plans.

The employment preparation phase builds job readiness skills, including resume crafting and mentorship, while the empowerment and celebration phase encourages reflection, graduation, and ongoing support. The structure aligns with the funding purpose, granting autonomy and acknowledging home influences. Weekly sessions feature diverse activities, fostering cultural understanding and skill development.


The Manawa Ora program is split into four 12-week phases spread across 10 months. This structure ensures comprehensive support for participants, guiding them in acquiring essential documents, creating paths to education, training, or employment and enhancing self-confidence and leadership skills.

The extended duration of each phase is intentional, providing rangatahi with increased autonomy in their engagement. Recognising the potential impact of home environments on participation, the extended timeframe aims to empower both rangatahi and wāhine māori to actively and autonomously participate in the program, fostering a more meaningful and sustainable impact on their journey.


Wāhanga Tuatahi: Establishing Foundations

The program begins with an orientation, where participants are introduced to its key elements.

Building cultural identity is emphasised through He Waka Tapu values, and the Te Whare Tapa Whā framework is introduced for overall well-being.

Participants engage in goal setting and leadership development, addressing mental health challenges along the way. The program also focuses on building self-confidence and fostering connections among peers, creating a supportive and empowering environment.

Wāhanga Tuarua: Pathways to Education and Training

In the second phase, participants focus on essential steps for their educational journey. This includes obtaining necessary documents like identification papers, exploring various education and training opportunities, and creating personalised plans for their educational path.

The program encourages active engagement in regional kaupapa māori initiatives and emphasizes the promotion of fitness and health through community activities at the Tinana gym.

Throughout this phase, participants consistently apply principles rooted in kaupapa Māori and Tikanga Māori, contributing to a holistic and culturally grounded learning experience.

Wāhanga Tuatōru: Employment Preparation

This third stage of the program focuses on preparing participants for jobs by teaching crucial skills.

It includes crafting effective resumes, providing access to job resources, offering personal mentorship for leadership development and closely monitoring progress. The goal is to ensure that participants are well-equipped for employment.

Wāhanga Tuawhā: Empowerment and Celebration

The fourth and final stage is a reflective exploration of the participants journey and achievements. This phase includes a graduation ceremony and celebratory events.

Post-program, comprehensive support and guidance persist to facilitate continued growth. Participants are actively prompted to take charge of shaping their forthcoming health plans and personal goals, promoting autonomy.

The phase also prioritises the continual nurturing of cultural identity, fostering enduring connections with Iwi, Hapu and Whānau for a lasting impact.