The Youth Mentoring Network


Latest News

2024 Training schedule - registrations are now open for all workshops

 We are pleased to announce our schedule of public workshops for 2024. We will be running:

  • four foundational skills mentoring workshops (MentorPlus), and
  • nine Strengths-based skills for youth workshops. 

Note: Further workshops may be added to our schedule based on demand. 

Registrations are now open for all 2024 workshops.  To register, click on the link next to the workshop you wish to attend.  


Training event


Register online

29 February

Strengths-based mentoring skills

South Auckland

Register here

21 March

Strengths-based mentoring skills 


Register here

9 and 10 April

Foundational mentoring skills (MentorPlus)


Register here

18 April

Strengths-based mentoring skills 

New Plymouth

Register here

7 - 8 May

Foundational mentoring skills (MentorPlus)


Register here

23 May

Strengths-based mentoring skills


Register here

20 June

Strengths-based mentoring skills


Register here

25 July

Strengths-based mentoring skills 


Register here

22 August

Strengths-based mentoring skills


Register here

10 – 11 September

Foundational mentoring skills (MentorPlus)

Wellington (Lower Hutt)

Register here

19 September

Strengths-based mentoring skills

Palmerston North

Register here

12 – 13 November

Foundational mentoring skills (MentorPlus)


Register here

21 November

Strengths-based mentoring skills


Register here



Registrations now open for our new Strengths-Based Skills for Youth Mentoring workshop

We are excited to bring you this brand new workshop in our Sharing the Kaupapa series. This new workshop is all about exploring strengths-based approaches in Youth Mentoring

In this new workshop our aim is to:

  • increase depth in understanding the strengths-based philosophy
  • identify the relevance of a strengths focus in youth mentoring
  • shift youth mentoring practice and the language we use with and about young people to become increasingly strengths-based and mana-affirming
  • explore a reflective process to guide change (the Column Tool)
  • practice 12 strengths-based skills
  • build even stronger youth mentoring networks, and of-course
  • have fun!

Who should attend?

This workshop is for people who work with young people, including: mentors, mentor programme providers, youth workers, educators, school counsellors, pastors, central and local government agency staff and community workers.

By bringing these workshops to the regions once again, we hope to strengthen regional and national networks in the well-established youth mentoring community.

Registration fee

There is a registration fee of $150 inclusive GST and booking fee. Catering is included and you will also receive a comprehensive workbook to take back to work with you.

Register online now:

Registrations are now open for our first two workshops:

1. South Auckland:  29 February 2024. click on link to register:

2.  Wellington: 21 March 2024. click on link to register:

Recognition in the King’s Birthday Honours list

It was something special to see youth mentoring recognised in the recent King's Birthday Honours list.

Ms Ann Dunphy , Chair of NZYMN, was acknowledged as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM). The citation highlights her work as a leading educator and her long service in the drive to promote effective and safe mentoring in Aotearoa. Ann is taking this opportunity to spread the good word about intentional youth mentoring and the value of NZYMN.

We also acknowledge our good friend and facilitator Rod Baxter has been awarded an Officer of NZ Order of Merit (ONZM). This recognises his long service in supporting youth and youth workers. It also recognises his current work as CEO of the Prince’s Trust Aotearoa.

This year's Honours list also acknowledges the work of a former NZYMN trustee Frank Solomon and his wife Judy. Although this citation focusses on their current work in age care, we know that Frank and Judy were pivotal in the establishment of the Solomon Group, a group of training establishments that help youth transition from school to work. 

Congratulations and thank you for your outstanding mahi and dedication.

Ten pieces of advice for the teachers of young brown scholars, by Dr Michelle Johansson

1. Raise the bar. Don't dumb it down because they are brown, respect them enough to expect their best, and when they bring to you less, say THIS is not good enough, not YOU are not good enough. They've been told that enough and it's rough and they're tough, but the stuff that they're made of is enough.

2. BELIEVE unfailingly in their limitless potential. They will look in your eyes and know if you are lying.

3. Feed them. Literally. Feed them. Feed their minds, feed their mouths and feed their hunger for justice. Break bread with them and remember that when you take communion a covenant is made and there was a promise in that supper, that blood shed and shared means sacrifice.

4. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. But not at your jokes. Your jokes are dry but you are funny - And in laughter there's power; and in humour there's humility - and this ranks higher than their academic standing or rank score - it is more.

5. No one ever changed the world by yelling at it. Fear might change their behaviour but respect will change their mind.

6. Know that you are in the presence of warriors. They have fought. There are fighting. There are battles behind their eyes; and you cannot possibly understand the arms they bear, the scars they wear. Don't make the classroom another trek behind enemy lines. Sometimes they need a soft place to land, a safe space to stand, someone willing to understand. And if this is not the lesson you planned? perhaps it is the lesson YOU need.

7. Be the grown up and own up when you're wrong, be strong enough to fail sometimes, to ask for help sometimes. Be the mistake maker, the risk taker, give them permission to do the same. Be fallible, be malleable - take the shape of the tool that's needed coz ako means that if they’re not learning then you’re not teaching and if nothing ever changes, then nothing ever changes.

8. When they rage at you - and often they will coz often they're fill up and fed up with their lives and they throw words like knives at your feet - don't throw them back. Pick those knives up and see them for what they are. Not weapons thrown to hurt YOU but to relieve THEM. They could not carry them anymore. And you? Pick the knives off the floor, throw them out of the door and begin again.

9. Defend them. Inherent in their postcode. You will hear stories of failure that's prevalent in the pigment of their skin and Don't let that shit happen on your shift. It is your duty to tell a new story.

10. Stand WITH them and FOR them and BY them. Speak with them and for them. See them and know them for who they are. Hold them - in your arms, in your thoughts, in your prayers.

Don't let go.
Fight for them.
And keep fighting.
They are worth it.
And If you back them when they're 15?
They will have your back for life.

Youth Mentoring Resources - fun activities to bring to your mentoring sessions

When you are stuck for an idea on what to do with your mentee (young person) at your next meeting then this repository of activities is a great place to start. It covers a wide range of areas including: communication; relationship building; positive attitude and identity; culture and diversity and academic support. Thank you to the University of Auckland, the Great Potentials Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation for making this repository of activities freely available for everyone to use in their mentoring sessions.

Click on the following link to access these activities:

International Research from The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

By Jean Rhodes, Ph.D.
Two unexpected ways to strenghten mentor-mentee relationships.
Forging strong, enduring mentoring relationships depends on many factors, including empathy, proximity, and shared interest.  But here are two research-based tips that might be helpful to mentors...Read more