Ka whakahuatau te rangatahi mō te Toiora Youth wellbeing insights

Published: May 2023

Young people speak out about Wellbeing: An insights report into the Wellbeing of Rangatahi Māori and other Young People in Aotearoa

This report grows our collective understanding of the systems and determinants that affect rangatahi Māori and young people’s wellbeing, which in turn, influences mental health. It elevates the voices of young people and draws from their experiences and expertise.

Four common themes of barriers to wellbeing have been identified by young people between 2018 and 2022 relating to uncertain futures, racism and discrimination, social media and online harms, and challenges to whānau wellbeing and intergenerational connections. While this report does not cover all the issues faced by rangatahi Māori and young people, it reflects the expressed concerns of young people over the last five years.

To lift rangatahi Māori and young peoples’ wellbeing, we need to address the barriers they have identified, with the participation of rangatahi Māori and young people in all decisions that affect them. This is the heart of our call to action. Rangatahi Māori and young people must have a seat at every decision-making table where they can shape their own futures and their voices and perspectives are heard.

This report also shows:

  • Climate change is consistently raised by young people as a pressing and present issue when they think about their future, since young people, particularly rangatahi Māori, value the environment for their wellbeing
  • Discrimination, including anti-rainbow discrimination and ableism, racism and the impacts of colonisation are significant issues for rangatahi Māori and young people
  • Social media and digital spaces are deeply integrated into many rangatahi Māori and young people’s lives, with both benefits and harms. Young people want their online world to be safe and supportive, and platforms to be responsible for regulating and monitoring harmful material on social media
  • Connection to whānau and culture develops cultural resilience, which is integral to wellbeing and needs to be supported and fostered.
  • Community support, ongoing mentorship and guidance was discussed by young people to be pillars in equipping them to navigate life.

System leaders, agencies and other organisations in Aotearoa must work together with young people to make long-term systemic changes to address the barriers to wellbeing for rangatahi Māori and young people.