The Youth Mentoring Network

About Us

The mentoring landscape in New Zealand

The emergence of structured youth mentoring programmes in NZ started in the mid 1990s and has continued to grow over the last 20 years.  Today there are examples of mentoring models, from stand-alone programmes through to mentoring within wider youth development programmes; from targeting lower through to higher risk young people, and from volunteers to paid mentors.

In summary the NZ youth mentoring landscape can be classified under three main categories: 

  • FORMAL MENTORING PROGRAMMES – specialist structured youth mentoring programmes where the primary role of the programme is youth mentoring, eg. Big Brothers Big Sisters NZ; Pillars; Big Buddy

  • INFORMAL MENTORING – NATURAL MENTORS / VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE (VIPS) – adults who offer mentoring support to a young person, outside an established youth programme, eg. Sports coaches, teachers, a family friend.

  • YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES - youth programmes that offer a mentoring service as a consequence of the existing youth work they are undertaking, eg. Youth One Stop Shop; Otago Youth Wellness Trust; Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services.