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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

Latest key messages from Mana Ake

18 Mar, 2021 | Return|

1. Supporting ministries to consider future investment

We are pleased to confirm that the current provision of Mana Ake – Stronger for Tomorrow will continue until 1 December 2021.

This will allow the Mana Ake executive sponsors – the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, Canterbury District Health Board and Canterbury Clinical Network – to work on a longer-term plan to support tamariki and whānau in Canterbury.

In the meantime, Mana Ake kaiārahi and kaimahi will continue to support tamariki and whānau and to work with schools/kura and school clusters to embed the positive practices identified as beneficial, including:

  • understanding need and prioritising the way Mana Ake resources are used to maximise impact;
  • developing a strategic focus on wellbeing;
  • ensuring that teachers use Leading Lights and its rich range of advice, guidance, and resources as their first port of call;
  • taking up professional learning and development opportunities; and
  • supporting teachers and teacher aids to implement wellbeing programmes.


2. School survey

A big thanks to schools for taking the time and effort to distribute and respond Malatest International survey circulated in February. We expect to be able to share results from the survey in April 2021.  


3. Leading Lights

Leading Lights has been specifically designed for education professionals to help identify children with specific wellbeing needs and provide ideas and strategies about how these children are best supported within schools/kura.

Leading Lights should be the first port of call for teachers who notice a concern about a child’s wellbeing. It features advice and resources for supporting individual children, the class, family/ whānau and information about how to request specialist and support services in the local education and health systems.

Registering for Subscriber Updates will ensure you are alerted to upcoming Professional Development and to new or amended pathways. Log in here.


3.1 Professional development 2021

The 2021 dates for professional development webinars have been confirmed:

  • 24 March – Eating disorders
  • 26 May – Suicidal ideation
  • 23 June – Child development
  • 18 August – ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Professional development sessions are run by a range of practitioners with special interest in their fields, including psychiatrists, psychologists, general practitioners (GPs), Resources Teachers Learning and Behaviour (RTLBs) and physiotherapists.

So far there have been sessions on topics such as anxiety, emotional regulation, eczema, gender diversity and self-harm. These have been recorded and are available on Leading Lights.  


4. Cluster forums 2021

Termly cluster forums provide an opportunity for schools/clusters to share learning and practice to promote wellbeing for akonga (students) and kaiako (teachers).

The sessions are held on Tuesdays from 9-11am with an agenda via email shared closer to the time. The next sessions are:

  • 23 March
  • 1 June
  • 14 September
  • 16 November

Download a PDF of the key messages here.

About the Author


New website for Mana Ake

New website for Mana Ake

A new website designed to provide advice and support to whānau in Canterbury is now live.

Read More >
Mana Ake featured in Well Now magazine

Mana Ake featured in Well Now magazine

Read an update about Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow in the latest edition of Canterbury DHB's ...

Read More >
Latest key messages released

Latest key messages released

Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow has released key messages from its 20 June meeting.

Read More >
Latest key messages from Mana Ake

Latest key messages from Mana Ake

A summary of discussions held at the September 2021 Mana Ake Service Level Alliance (SLA) meeting.

Read More >
New workers welcomed

New workers welcomed

An official ceremony to welcome new kaimahi into the Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow service, was h...

Read More >
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...

Read More >
Key contacts

Cushla Waghorn

Kaikoura, Hurunui and Rangiora



Bernice Swain

Northcote, Kaiapoi and Burnside

022 0775 090


Jonathan Crosby

Christian and Catholic schools;

North West Christchurch and Hornby

027 928 2172


Becky Voisey

New Brighton, Shirley and Pito Mata

020 273 9316


AJ Van Dam

Central City, Linwood and Riccarton

022 060 6628


Liz Riley

Opawa, Cashmere, Sumner and Halswell

021 316 960


Sandra Keenan

Lincoln, Ellesmere, Akaroa and Malvern

021 969 128


Kelsi Thompson

Ashburton and Methven

027 215 3723


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.