Phenomenal Young Women (final blog post)

To see the full report click here.

Phenomenal Young Women began in July 2018 originally in response to youth suicide prevention in Tāmaki. 

In previous years we organised weekly gatherings open for local young women to come along to and participate in empowering, confidence building and fun activities. After pivoting due to covid and needing to change we ran the Ngā Kakano Series. 

Ngā Kākano was a series of personal growth sessions for young women, encouraging them to get to know themselves better, understand their strengths and support them to create some exciting plans for the future.

The series included elements of mentoring by pairing the young women (teina) with role models (tuakana) from our community who could speak to their own life journeys and share their achievements. These role models acted in a mentoring capacity for three sessions and were given koha for their time.

The Outcomes

The outcomes from this programme have been very positive. Teina have gained self confidence and understanding what self care is and ways for them to do this. They have learnt to acknowledge their strengths and be aware of their own wellbeing, including different ways of looking after themselves. Nurturing leadership qualities they already have and learning how to express themselves with others. 

There have been many comments from the Tuakana that they too learnt from their Teina while on their sessions. Learning about self love and looking after their own wellbeing as well as how to communicate effectively with each other. 

“Loved the dreaming about the future and really got excited about what it looks like going forward ❤️. Both were encouraged of the growth x loved the aspect of the knowledge from Te Whare Tapa Wha and the growth we have taken in terms of acknowledging self care & journaling x”

Some notable things the teina shared that they learnt while on the retreat are; to speak up for themselves, and you can have fun with people outside of your friends circle that you don’t know. Everyone showed leadership and initiative; helping out with the daily chores without any problems and working as a team.

Where to from here?

The young women are continuing on and now completing their own personal projects that they identified with their Tuakana. These projects help them towards a goal they have set for themselves. These projects are a wide range of things, each personally relevant for each girl. They include doing something with their whānau for quality time, buying sporting supplies so they can better achieve at their chosen sport, attending a camp, creating artwork for loved ones, learning their cultures language, registering for a talent/acting agency, doing something for themselves that will help build their own confidence and self worth and purchasing things that will help them when studying.

Everyone with Marama Davidson at the Phenomenal Young Women Retreat in Muriwai.


Thank you to the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board and Auckland Council for funding to carry out this work.

To the Tuakana involved, giving up their time, energy and expertise – without mana wāhine like you, this project could not have happened, and would not be the success that it was.

To the Teina and their families for trusting us and the process and for being open, honest and fun.

To Marama Davidson for coming to our retreat and sharing your wisdom – a highlight for many!

To all of the local leaders that came to our Saturday event at the retreat, bringing with them local young wāhine to join in the day.

Final Word

This project was a huge success, impacting positively many young wāhine within the local community. Enhancing wellbeing and building the confidence of our young women is so important for future generations and we are excited to see our up and coming leaders of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki. We can’t wait to connect with you all again soon!

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