Mana, the social enterprise supporting complex for high-needs rangatahi, is today proud to announce the launch of its new arm, Mana Wahine, specifically for tamariki and rangatahi wahine.


Mana Wahine is led by Merita Grace, who has a deep background in social services. Merita joins Mana from Oranga Tamariki (OT), where she worked in different capacities since 2006. In addition to her role at OT, Merita and her husband were caregivers for at-risk youth.


Lachlan Sloan, Mana CEO and co-founder, says Mana Wahine will help meet the increasing demand for young wahine in need of care.


“As an organisation, we know how important it is to meet our rangatahi in their own space. Often this is cultural or geographic, but it is also a factor when working with different genders. We want to meet the need for more support in a way that our wahine rangatahi and tamariki feel safe, understood, and believed in. We are thrilled Merita has joined us, and we welcome her to our team.”


Merita says she was delighted to join Mana when the opportunity arose. She had observed Mana’s care for its rangatahi for some time and admired the work ethic and dedication that its kaimahi showed.


“Our children and young women are so important. At Mana, we know our mahi centres on awhi (nurture), awhi, and more awhi. I have always loved kids, and being able to advocate and care for them is something I’ve done my whole life, and will always continue to do. Leading Mana Wahine is a privilege, which I’m honoured to take up. The Mana Wahine team is ready to take on all wahine referrals and we look forward to supporting these young women and girls to grow into adults who achieve what they are capable of becoming.”


Mana Wahine services will offer bespoke care designed to deliver the best outcomes for wahine, with an initial focus on Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The Mana Wahine launch comes as a result of the clear need for a dedicated service designed for female youth in the care sector.



Irene Chapple