Mana Services

Mana Labs

Rangatahi lead, inspired and designed social services

Mana Labs is all about hearing the voices of our rangatahi and allowing them to have a say in the services that the government provides for them.

Unlike traditional models where central governments devise strategies that may not resonate with our rangatahi, Mana Labs places the youth at the heart of the design process, ensuring their voices are not just heard but are the driving force behind every project.

Across the globe, similar youth-centric models are thriving, showcasing the potential of young innovators. For instance, The Hive in Europe focuses on nurturing youth-led startups, providing a platform for young entrepreneurs to collaborate and bring their visions to life. In Asia, the Youth Innovation Hub mirrors this ethos, offering mentorship and resources to young minds eager to tackle regional challenges with fresh perspectives. Similarly, in North America, the NextGen Leaders program empowers young people to lead social change.

At Mana Labs, we draw inspiration from these global initiatives and strive to offer an even more dynamic and supportive environment. Our programs are designed not only to foster creativity and entrepreneurship among youth but also to instil a sense of social responsibility and community engagement. By tapping into the unique insights and talents of young individuals, Mana Labs aims to build a future that is not only innovative but also inclusive and sustainable.

Current Initiatives

Kick Back

We are proud to be partnered with Kick Back Make a Change led by Aaron Hendry, a well known and respected youth worker in Tāmaki Makaurau. 

About Kick Back

Kick Back is a youth development organisation that actively challenges the notion that any young person is too at risk to be loved. They firmly believe in “Te ara o te aroha,” that Love is The Way. When we embrace love and make it the foundation of our actions and operations, incredible things happen.

Kick Back reject the idea of a “too hard basket” for young people. In fact, they don’t believe it exists at all. They understand that love involves taking risks. Healing, transformation, and change occur when we have the courage to stand in solidarity with one another. Love goes beyond boundaries, seeking out the forgotten places and rejected spaces, reaching out to those whom society has chosen to ignore. Those who have been marginalised by the systems and structures designed to serve the majority. Love seeks out the margins, establishes its presence in the gaps, and refuses to accept societal injustices. Youth homelessness is one such injustice that they refuse to tolerate.

In Aotearoa, no rangatahi (young person) should ever experience homelessness. No child should be without a home, and no rangatahi should be left on our streets.

Kick Back is committed to doing everything they can to put an end to the injustice of homelessness. Approximately 50% of our homeless population consists of rangatahi, yet there is a significant lack of services, support, and infrastructure to assist young people experiencing homelessness.

By focusing on preventing and ending rangatahi homelessness, they believe they can make significant progress in ending homelessness altogether in Aotearoa.

Their purpose is to serve those rangatahi who fall through the gaps and drive change through innovation and embodiment. They concentrate on piloting and developing innovative solutions to prevent and end youth homelessness. Our aim is to generate evidence, expand our collective mātauranga (knowledge), and share what we learn with the sector to drive change further and faster.

Kick Back specifically focuses on developing solutions for those who have been most structurally marginalised within our society. Their work is about serving those within the gaps to build the knowledge and expertise required to eliminate gaps. 

Follow Kick Back here

Manaaki Rangatahi

Manaaki Rangatahi, The Youth Homelessness Collective are working together to end youth homelessness.

About Manaaki Rangatahi

Manaaki Rangatahi is calling for bipartisan support to respond to the urgent human rights crisis of your facing homelessness in Aotearoa. 

Manaaki Rangatahi is calling on all political parties over the next term of Parliament to commit to advancing these six calls to action. 

  1. Enshrine the right housing.

  2. Prohibit Government agencies from releasing youth into homelessness

  3. Develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent/end youth homelessness

  4. Invest in upscaling and upskilling youth housing/homelessness services

  5. Retain and strengthen the role of the Associate Minister of Housing in homelessness

  6. Data collection on youth homelessness

Check out the lastest from Manaaki Rangatahi by visiting their instagram

How does it work?

Are you addressing a specific need or problem our community is facing with regards to rangatahi? Here is how we work.

Understanding what government (central or local) believes is the issue racing our rangatahi

Pulling together a focus group of rangatahi and engaging them on the issues. Mana’s team helps coordinate and guide rangatahi through workshops and or grass roots level engagement (street interviews).

Once we have a suitable amount of feedback from diverse voices, we put a detailed report together and present it back to government. It could be conducted by a petition or even involve detailed feedback sessions to Ministers and policy makers

Rangatahi are leading this process, writing the reports, presenting the data. Our Mana Labs team of advisors are present to support and guide them only. 

Contact us

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