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Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow provides mental health and wellbeing support for children aged five to 12 years old across Canterbury.

Mana Ake kaimahi are employed by one of 13 providers and work with schools to support teachers, families and whānau when children are experiencing issues that impact their wellbeing such as managing emotions, friendships and bullying, parental separation and grief and loss.

Kaimahi have a diverse range of skills and include psychologists, social workers, counsellors, teachers and youth workers. Kaimahi can work with children and their families at school, in the community or at home and with groups of children in schools. They provide advice, guidance and support for teachers and family/ whānau.

You can talk to your local school to find out about what is being offered by the Mana Ake team.

If you're concerned about your child’s wellbeing or mental health, you should talk to their child's teacher, or a member of the school staff, to check if Mana Ake is the right service to support your child. If your child does not currently attend a school, you can request support directly from Mana Ake via manaakefeedback@cdhb.health.nz

Mana Ake team leaders (kaiarahi) support geographic teams of kaimahi. If you have a query about Mana Ake you can contact the kaiarahi for your area (phone numbers to the right).

See the links under the Related Pages heading to find out more about supporting a child’s wellbeing. This list includes the Mana Ake website

Mana Ake karakia read by Karaitiana Tickell

E atawhai ana mātou

Te whakatōkia o ngā kakano i ruia mai

E nga māhuri tōtara e tipu ana mō āpōpō.

Nā tātou katoa hei awhi te kaupapa,

Hei mana ake te tū tauira tonu ai.

Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.


We nurture and protect

the seeds sown near and far,

so that they may grow into mighty totara for a not so distant tomorrow.

We embrace our responsibility,

To encourage students on a path of lifelong learning.

Unified, Together, Strong.

Latest news

Mana Ake team featured in Star Media video

05 May, 2019 | Return|

Members of the Mana Ake team spoke with Star Media about the coordinated, collaborative response to the terror attack on 15 March and offered some tips for parents and teachers.

Clare Shepherd, Mana Ake Project Lead outlined the role Mana Ake had in responding to the event: “We put together a crisis response for monitoring, checking in and coordinating Mana Ake support to schools. We looked at where there may be gaps in information and where we could strengthen our information for teachers, which included a focus on teacher wellbeing,” she said.

“Parents and teachers need to look after themselves and really focus on how they manage and promote their own wellbeing, because that becomes a model for younger children. We know that adults, particularly in younger children’s lives, are a huge moderator of children’s emotions. So the better parents and teachers are doing, the better the wellbeing of our children is.”  

Fiona Wells, Mana Ake Team Leader, talked about the range of emotional responses that are normal after a traumatic event, and emphasised the importance of naming and validating those emotions. “After stressful or unsettling events it is normal for both parents and children to experience a whole range of emotional responses,” she said.

“Parents can help manage this by taking notice of and naming the feelings they see, saying things like ‘you seem upset today’ or ‘you seem a bit tired,’ and reassuring children that it’s okay to feel whatever they are feeling, that it’s normal after what we’ve been through.

“Parents can support children to feel calm by promoting a calm environment in the home and reassure children by being consistent with routines. Finding opportunities to connect as a family can help, getting outside, playing, or eating a meal together.

“When we are tired and stressed it is harder to invest time and energy into looking after ourselves, but this is important so we can provide care for our tamariki.”

The team has been collating information to share with teachers and parents, including the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give.

Watch the full Star Media video featuring interviews from Fiona and Clare here.

About the Author


Latest key messages from Mana Ake

Latest key messages from Mana Ake

A summary of discussions held at the most recent Mana Ake Service Level Alliance (SLA) meeting.

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New kaimahi join Mana Ake whānau

New kaimahi join Mana Ake whānau

The Mana Ake – Stronger for Tomorrow initiative achieved a special milestone this week when they we...

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Provider information forum and workshop

Provider information forum and workshop

A forum to provide an overview and update on the implementation of the Mental Health Support in Scho...

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Mana Ake team finalists in the Spirit of Service Awards 2019

Mana Ake team finalists in the Spirit of Service Awards 2019

Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow has been selected as a finalist for the Spirit of Service awards in...

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Budding artists share skills with the community

Budding artists share skills with the community

A group of budding artists shared their skills with the Ashburton community last weekend, as they ce...

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Key messages - 9 May

Key messages - 9 May

Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow has released key messages from its 9 May meeting.

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Useful resources

Mana Ake website

A new website designed to share information and resources with whānau.

Information flyer

Explains what Mana Ake is and how to access it.

Young one starting school?

A book for parents explaining how to support your child starting a new school.

Voices of Mana Ake - video

Inteviews with principals, Provider Network members and kaimahi. 

Work Plan 2020-21

For Mana Ake SLA. Read full CCN work plan.