The Youth Mentoring Network


Latest News

Christchurch MentorPlus (Mentoring skills) Workshop 19 and 20 October 2015

Registrations now open  

This is an excellent workshop opportunity for people working with young people, who need to add a mentoring dimension to their role.

Michael-karcherListen to Professor Michael J. Karcher’s presentation that he delivered in Auckland last month

We were delighted to host Professor Karcher, Unversity of Texus, leading United States mentoring researcher and co-editor of both editions of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring, last month for a presentation in Auckland. 

We were completely humbled by Professor Karcher’s commitment to offer the best possible support during his brief visit to NZ – to the extent that he decided to revise his planned address and undertake significant research into NZ circumstances

We took the opportunity to record Professor Karchers address and have included the link to the recording.  It is just over an hour long and finishes just before a video clip he used from the Kung Fu Panda movie which depicts the need as a mentor to ‘trust the process - it is not about trying to fix the young person’.

In his presentation, Professor Karcher really explored the continuum of developmental relationships between adults and young people to help define mentoring and describe how it works.  He spoke at length about the concept of VIPs – ‘very important people’ in young people’s lives and referred to an excellent quote by Richard Lerner (Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University) “Our calling someone a mentor does not make them one. No one is a mentor until the mentee sees them as one”.

Invitation - special opportunity to hear from leading international expert in Youth Mentoring

rsz_21rsz_karcherface2013bowtieDate:  4.30pm - 6.30pm | Thursday 25 June 2015

Venue:  One Tree Hill College, 421 - 451 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland 

The New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network is delighted to be able to offer you the opportunity to attend a free presentation by Professor Michael J. Karcher from the University of Texas.  Professor Karcher is a leading United States mentoring researcher and with David DuBois, he co-edited both editions of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring.  Professor Karcher will speak on 'Mentoring the mentors - Who, why, and how to do it'.

All welcome:  This is a free event however you will need to register to attend.


Free parking: parking is available at the front of the college. Entrance from Great South Road.  

Auckland MentorPlus Workshop 27 and 28 July 2015 - places still available!  

This is an excellent workshop opportunity for people working with young people, who need to add a mentoring dimension to their role.

During the two day course attendees will learn key skills in:

  • communicating effectively with a young person
  • managing risk & behaviour when working with a young person
  • helping young people explore their identity and culture, and
  • assisting personal development

Comments from previous attendees:

"The workshop is really practical. It taught me how to talk with our mentees more effectively and ask the right questions."

"It gave me really useful activities that we can use with our mentees."

"I really enjoyed sharing korero with workmates and looking at the theory behind how we work with young people."  

Date:  27 and 28 July 2015
Location:  Rosepark Hotel, Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland 

Cost:  $380 plus GST (discounts offered when sending more than one person from your organisation)

Register online

Listen to Prof. Toni Zimmerman's presentation on mentoring at risk youth

It was really good to see so many of you at Distinguished visitor Professor Toni Zimmerman's presentations in Wellington and Auckland last month.  The NZYMN welcomed the opportunity to co-host these presentations with the University of Auckland, Faculty of Education.  Thank you to Dr. Pat Bullen and the University of Auckland for sponsoring the Professor's visit. 

For those of you who were unable to attend in person we are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to listen to the Professor's Auckland presentation. 

The link to the Audio is at the bottom of webpage opens here.

 The presentation is approximately one hour in duration and concludes just before the end of the Q&A session.  Prof. Zimmerman is a very accomplished and engaging public speaker and does not use many slides during her presentation. You may therefore find it valuable to scroll through the excellent introductory power point presentation from the home page of the Colorado State University Campus Corps webpage while listening to her speak

The main focus of the Professor’s presentation is the Campus Corps youth mentoring model she and her colleagues developed in response to an identified community need to better serve at-risk youth.  The young people being referred to Campus Corps from Youth Justice, Social Services agencies and schools are presenting with some of the most challenging behavioural and mental health issues.  The mentoring model has a unique three-pronged approach to address their specific needs: 

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Mentoring pairs also engage in group-based activities, and
  • Family Therapists are onsite to support youth as needed.

The programme has been running for about six years now and is achieving some very promising outcomes. Research results show that among the youth that attend Campus Corps, thereis  improvement in the following areas:  

  • Reduced truancy
  • Reduced substance use
  • Reduced delinquent behavior
  • Improved attitudes about substance use, and
  • Improved psychological well being.

Participation in the programme for the mentors is also showing some very positive results and is associated with 63% lower odds of dropping out of university in any given year.  Student mentors reported:

  • Improved leadership skills
  • Improved ability to manage stress
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Expanded commitment to civic action, and
  • Enriched interpersonal skills

Professor Zimmerman’s experiences certainly highlight important strategies for working effectively with vulnerable youth. More specifically how to: sustain matches; engage in safe group-based activities; support youth autonomy; and provide therapy in the moment. The Campus Corps model  also highlights the benefits of youth mentoring as a service learning activity. Since Professor Zimmerman’s visit there has been significant interest in the Campus Corps model. A team of academics and government officials are currently exploring how this model could be adapted and implemented here in Aotearoa. The NZYMN is delighted with the interest generated from Professor Zimmerman’s presentations and will continue to keep you informed of any progress.

Registrations open for 2015 training workshops

We are pleased to confirm our 2015 public training schedule for our MentorPlus and Mentoring Matters training programmes. 

To register,  complete the registration form.

Mentoring Matters

9 & 10 November Auckland, Rosepark Hotel, 92 Gladstone Rd, Parnell

Mentor Plus

16 & 17 March Auckland, Rosepark Hotel, 92 Gladstone Rd, Parnell
18 & 19 May Wellington, venue TBC
27 & 28 July Auckland, Rosepark Hotel, 92 Gladstone Rd, Parnell
19 & 20 October Christchurch, venue TBC
23 & 24 November   Auckland, Rosepark Hotel, 92 Gladstone Rd, Parnell

Why Kevin Spacey thinks we should "send the elevator back down"

An inspiring article by Jean Rhodes, Chronicle of Evidence-based Mentoring

If you have reached a comfortable level yourself, you have the moral obligation to “send the elevator back down.” This phrase, spoken by Spacey's mentor, has served as his constant reminder to provide young people with the same sorts of opportunities and role modeling that he had.

Read the full article here.

Invitation to register your programme with the Youth Mentoring Network

Do you offer mentoring services to young people in your community? Do you need to recruit more mentors? If your answer to either question is YES, we encourage you to register your programme with the Youth Mentoring Network.

We receive numerous enquiries from people wanting to volunteer to mentor a young person. We also receive many requests from parents and caregivers, social workers and school counsellors asking for help to find mentors for young people under their care.

To enable us to better respond to these requests for help, we want to establish a comprehensive and up-to-date database of organisations and practitioners offering mentoring services around the country. 

We are working closely with Dr Pat Bullen, University of Auckland Lecturer and recipient of the 2014 Vodafone World of Difference Fellowship. Pat's objective for her Fellowship is to enhance the quality and reach of youth mentoring in New Zealand. Specifically she has identified the need to establish a database of youth mentoring programmes in New Zealand.

Today our website lists 24 youth mentoring programmes operating in communities around New Zealand. This is an excellent platform to build upon, but we know, based on an initial analysis, there are many other organisations and practitioners that are offering mentoring to young people, often in conjunction with other youth focused services. 

We have developed a simple online form that will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It covers:  Organisation information; Mentor programme information; Mentee (young person) criteria; Mentor criteria and Programme statistics (note: programme statistics are being captured for statistical purposes and will not be displayed on the website). Once you complete the form, it will be submitted to the Network for review and approval prior to being posted to our website. 

Throughout the form there are helpful hints and explanations. If you have any questions please contact:
Nicki McDonald
Mob: 027 520 2981
Office: 09 521 8240

Thank you for taking the time to register your programme. We hope the outcomes of this initiative will:

  • Increase access to and awareness of mentor-rich programmes that are available throughout New Zealand, and
  • Serve to support networking and collaboration between programme providers in various communities.  

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri.
Your food basket, and my food basket, will nurture the people.

Two recent articles from The Chronicle of Evidence Based Mentoring

Chronicle of Evidence based mentoring_opt (1)

  • Strategies that formal mentoring programs can use to facilitate natural mentoring relationships.  article
  • How to use the power of mentoring to support students academically article

NZ Festival of Education - Pat Bullen's presentationPatBullen(2011)_opt

The NZ Youth Mentoring Network were delighted to be able to host chat room sessions at the recent Festivals of Education Held in Auckland and Christchurch at end of March. 

Pat Bullen, lecturer in youth development at The University of Auckland and recipient of the 2014 Vodafone World of Difference Fellowship presented these sessions.  Drawing on a recent three-week visit to the United States, Pat talked about how we need to do more to ensure that the knowledge, skills and resources we possess within our tertiary institutions are used to better support the needs of our local communities – and in particular the programmes within our communities that serve our rangatahi.

Click on this link ot view Pat's presentation: Festival of Education

Fatima Leung-Wai from Roots Collective talks with Cris Smith from West Lynn. Photo / Dean Purcell

Mentors make a difference

Volunteers make a difference to communities throughout New Zealand, one young person at a time, finds Dionne Christian (NZ Herald, Saturday 15 March 2014)

On any given weekends, all across New Zealand, there are people who are volunteering their time to guide and advise young people. These volunteer mentors belong to a raft of programmes (some home-grown; some international) which aim to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Programmes may involve one-to-one mentoring or be in a group or community.

Read more here.

         powerup mentoring
Tyler McCarthy (centre at back), with Quinton, 9, (centre left) Mercedez, 7, mum Lemalu and dad Sa. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Mentoring initiative success

NZ Herald:  Wednesday 19 March 2014

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Tyler McCarthy knows that in order to get to where he wants to be one day, he has to work hard now.

So when a mentoring programme started up at his church last year, he knew he had to get involved.

The 16-year-old, a year 12 student at Kelston Boys High, enrolled at the Pasifika Power Up station at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, in Te Atatu.

Read more here.