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Whanaungatanga: Build relationships before doing the work

Whanaungatanga: Build relationships before doing the work

Take time to form high trust, reciprocal and intentional relationships with young people before jumping into the work. This ensures rangatahi feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings throughout a project.  

What this can look like in practice: 

  • Partner with experts: Partner with a youth development organisation, youth worker or relatable role model who genuinely cares about rangatahi and is experienced at building trusted relationships with them. 
  • Go through existing relationships: Someone who already has an established relationship with rangatahi might include teachers, youth workers, youth groups, sports coaches and clubs, churches or other community groups and leaders. 
  • Learn from others: Learn from people who have gone through a genuine co-design process and can help you identify and navigate political processes and cultures. 
  • Build lasting relationships with rangatahi: Plan to - and invest time in - building strong relationships with a group of key rangatahi who are passionate about the project and may want to take a leadership role throughout. Given spatial projects can often span anywhere from five to 15 years, consider ways to maintain these relationships over a longer period – such as keeping young people informed even if they move away.  
"We wanted to take away the token gesture of engagement – e.g. one workshop and no follow-through. The ongoing dialogue and conversations reflected that it is not a structured or linear process and that resonated with rangatahi because it is authentic". 

Find out more

Explore more Mana Taiohi principles
Explore more Mana Taiohi principles

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