• Create a space for youth to learn, reflect, grow and connect with other youth.
  • Challenge youth to deal with the issues facing their communities.
  • Showcase the voice of youth. Bring their thoughts and ideas to the wider community, testing their assumptions and proposed solutions.
  • Provide feedback in a timely, direct and constructive manner.  For example, ‘This may or may not be appropriate feedback, but you will know whether it is something you want to take away and think about. I think …’
  • Promote good habits; tell young people that you admire their work ethic rather than saying they are bright. Hard work leads to better work habits and the development of more talents.


2014 New Zealand Examples

Youth Councils

Youth councils are an initiative undertaken by many councils throughout New Zealand, which enable youth to gain an understanding of how local government functions. Youth councils feature youth representatives from within a community, who come together to discuss local issues and also organise and take part in local events. The McGuinness Institute will be contributing to this initiative later this year when we run a workshop with youth councillors between the ages of 18-25. For more information see

New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network

The Youth Mentoring Network is a charitable trust that connects youth mentors from around the country and raises the profile of youth mentoring in New Zealand. The Network offers training for those working with youth as well as resources and opportunities to connect with others in the field.

Generation Zero

Youth led organisation Generation Zero uses an online decision making platform ( to make decisions within the organisation. Each new starter working for Generation Zero is given a log in and can contribute comments and vote on decisions for the goals and practices of the organisation as a whole. All members have an equal vote in decisions, which promotes a culture of inclusion.

Rangatahi Summit, Waikato-Tainui

The biennial Waikato-Tainui Rangatahi Summit aims to engage youth with the culture, history and current initiatives of their iwi.  Held over three days at Tūrangawaewae Marae, the summit uses Tainui tikanga and protocol to integrate youth into discussions about building a stronger future for their iwi as a whole.