Te Kaupare i te Whakamomori i Waenga i te Hunga Rangatahi

Te Puni Kōkiri supports community initiatives delivered in a Te Ao Māori setting to rangatahi Māori which aim to impart knowledge, experiences, and skills to help rangatahi build resilience, wellbeing and leadership capability.

Last updated: Rāapa, 19 Whiringa ā-nuku, 2022 | Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Kawatiri rangatahi and artist Mr G with part of the mural they created together for the Tūmanako project.

Why invest in rangatahi wellbeing and resilience?

Rangatahi (10-24) make up half the current Māori population. They are our future leaders, parents, whare tangata, kaumatua, and tohunga. Resilient and thriving rangatahi will help to ensure a future filled with resilient and thriving whānau.

Rangatahi Māori have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, both economically and in their health and wellbeing. Rangatahi Māori are also over-represented negatively across the social spectrum including in education, employment, mental health, and suicide statistics. For example:

  • The current rate for rangatahi NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is 19.2% compared to 13.8% for non-Māori (Household Labour Force Survey)
  • From 2009 to 2018, the difference in rates of suicide between Māori and non-Māori was most notable in the 15–24 years age group. In 2018 the rate of suicide for Māori in the 15–24 years age group was about 2.1 times that of non-Māori in the same age group. (Ministry of Health, Suicide Web Tool)

Strengthening rangatahi resilience and confidence is part of ensuring a faster recovery from the effects of COVID-19. This includes preparing for and overcoming future adverse events and challenging situations.

A reduction in rangatahi suicide rates, levels of anxiety, depression and other poor health statistics will follow on from broader initiatives and programmes that support rangatahi to build resilience and well-being according to their own aspirations. And as a result, rangatahi will be more likely to succeed in education and in the workplace, and become role models and leaders in their whānau and communities.

The Rangatahi Manawaroa Fund

Rangatahi Manawaroa (formerly the Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund) invests in initiatives delivered in a Te Ao Māori setting to rangatahi Māori aged 10-24 years. These initiatives give rangatahi positive experiences, helping them to gain skills and knowledge while building meaningful relationships and connections. Rangatahi are supported to grow their wellbeing and resilience, improving their capability to deal with stressful and challenging life situations.

Since 2015 we have invested in over 150 initiatives through this fund, enabling communities to respond to the specific needs of rangatahi Māori within their rohe. These initiatives have ranged from community wānanga and noho marae to programmes where arts, culture or sports are used as a means for rangatahi to express themselves.

Rangatahi have told us that a positive focus on wellbeing has the greatest impact for them in terms of building resilience. The Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund has been renamed Rangatahi Manawaroa to better reflect the broad wellbeing and resilience focus of the fund, and the wide scope of the types of programmes that can be supported.

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Stories and videos

Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Videos


A series of Rangatahi Suicide Prevention videos were produced recently by Skylight in collaboration with 186 rangatahi from seven different schools around Aotearoa. Skylight is an organization that specializes in support for those suffering from grief, loss and trauma. The videos were based on the theme ‘How do we support someone in mental distress?

Workshops were held over three-days at each school and focused on supporting rangatahi in learning about suicide prevention, wellbeing and resilience building. The stories focused on situations that rangatahi can sometimes experience that might lead to suicide attempts and they also identified effective support. The project also showed how the medium of film can be used to facilitate conversations in communities.

Māori suicide rates are high in Aotearoa. Te Puni Kōkiri is working with other government agencies, expert groups and community organisations to reduce Māori suicide. Read more about the way they are sharing prevention messages.

Crisis support services for rangatahi

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234 or e-mail talk@youthline.co.nz
  • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or depression.org.nz
  • Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays)
  • What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) or whatsup.co.nz(7pm – 10pm)
  • Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or free text 8691
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 (for callers from all other regions)
  • OUTLine NZ - 0800 688 5463 (This provides confidential telephone support for sexuality or gender identity issues)
  • The Lowdown – thelowdown.co.nzor free text 5626 or email team@thelowdown.co.nz (e-mails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).
  • You could also talk to your General Practitioner (GP), local health professional or someone you trust.

Further information related to suicide

For information relating specifically to Suicide Prevention, we recommend you review the information below from the Ministry of Health :

The Coronial Services of New Zealand  website will give you an overview of what you can expect to happen when a death is referred to a coroner. The police must report every suspected suicide to the coroner.

Related News and Stories

Read our latest news and stories for this kaupapa.

Hōmai Haumaru helping rangatahi express themselves through art

  • Date: 02 February 2023

Late last year a group of rangatahi artists and their friends and whānau came together for the opening of the Hōmai Haumaru exhibition in Ōtaki. The kaupapa is focused on giving rangatahi space to express their thoughts and feelings on mental health issues and suicide through creating art.

Read more

Rātana rangatahi - our 'āpōpō'

  • Date: 27 January 2023

This year’s Rātana celebrations mark the 150th birthday of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana. After a couple of years of COVID-19 restrictions, this year sees a welcome return to the full-scale event. 

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Māori Emerging Leaders Programme

  • Date: 06 October 2022

Former Te Puni Kōkiri staff Leith Comer, Rachel Jones, and Mere Pohatu imparted their wisdom and experience onto a new group of public servants.

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Art as a tool for growth

  • Date: 21 September 2022

Kākano Youth Arts Collective is creating a safe space for vulnerable West Auckland youth to create art and gain valuable life skills and work experience.

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Rangatahi Manawaroa

  • Date: 07 July 2022

Rangatahi Manawaroa (formerly the Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund) has been renamed to better reflect the range of community initiatives contributing to improving rangatahi well-being and resilience that are funded.

Read more

Rangatahi working to practice and inform youth work in Aotearoa

  • Date: 28 April 2022

For a group of six rangatahi Māori and Pasifika, 2021 was a year of personal growth, where they trained in their chosen career field and had the opportunity to inform how youth work will be carried out in Aotearoa for generations to come.

Read more