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Whai wāhitanga: Give young people space to assume agency

Whai wāhitanga: Give young people space to assume agency

Advocate for young people to be heard throughout the entire process so that assumptions from adults can be challenged in an ongoing way. Propose a co-design process (rather than pre-defining the design too much upfront). Ask young people to hold you to account. Agree on (two-way) expectations and ways of working with young people. 

What this can look like in practice: 

  • Stay open-minded: Let go of your own assumptions about the project, be open-minded, and clarify feedback with young people to challenge your own biases. 
  • Identify opportunities for rangatahi to make decisions: Plan the key decisions throughout the project, and agree on which decision the rangatahi could make, or make with you. 
  • Provide clear roles and tasks: Provide roles and tasks that can be led by young people, e.g. supporting them to ask their peers for feedback. 
  • Recognise rangatahi input and time: Show that you value rangatahi expertise and enable them to stay involved by providing koha. Be creative about what this could be and ask rangatahi what they would value. Examples include Prezzie cards, supermarket vouchers, career opportunities and mentoring. 
"We follow through - it is not 'build and walk away'. We want the kids to have ownership over the Trust because it is going to be theirs. It is about making sure that when we are ready to step out [of the Trust], others are ready to step in.”  

Find out more

Explore more Mana Taiohi principles
Explore more Mana Taiohi principles

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