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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

04 Jun, 2021 | Return|

Investment confirmed until 30 June 2022  

The Ministry of Health has confirmed their intention to invest in Mana Ake for the next financial year although details of funding level and key priorities have not been worked through at this stage.

The Provider Network, kaimahi and kaiārahi will continue to support school clusters to understand and respond to wellbeing and mental health concerns.

Schools and school clusters should work with their kaiārahi to prioritise the work their teams do, to ensure kaimahi have capacity to meet the wellbeing needs schools are most concerned about in a timely way. This could include:

  • Using Leading Lights, which provides tools and resources for use in the classroom as well as information to share with whānau, as a first port of call.
  • Using ERMS Online to connect all schools with General Practice and vice versa, and for any health-related concern for a child/young person.
  • Supporting whānau by:
    • Providing drop-in advice and guidance sessions, and parent information forums, to reduce demand for individual support for tamariki.
    • Sharing information about the online workshops supported by the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC). Parents can log into the presentations from home and these types of programmes are seen as a valuable resource, especially for families in rural centres.
    • Sharing the public-facing Mana Ake website with school communities through newsletters and social media.


Leading Lights / professional development

There are a range of professional development webinars coming up which are available to school and primary care staff including GPs and nurses:

  • 23 June – Child development
  • 18 August – ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

The 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.

Previous sessions, which have covered topics such as anxiety, emotional regulation, eczema, gender diversity and self-harm, have been recorded and are available to view on Leading Lights.  

Download a PDF of the key messages here.

About the Author


Boosting access to rural mental health support

Boosting access to rural mental health support

People will now get mental health support from one place as part of a plan to improve health service...

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Wellbeing initiative provides long-term benefits for tamariki

Wellbeing initiative provides long-term benefits for tamariki

Early intervention and collaborative approaches such as those being put in place by Mana Ake – Stro...

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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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Latest key messages released

Latest key messages released

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

Read More >
Mana Ake featured in WellNow magazine

Mana Ake featured in WellNow magazine

Read an update about Mana Ake - Stronger for Tomorrow in the Spring 2019 edition of Canterbury DHB&#...

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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...

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.