The Tuia Programme

With the right support and the right opportunities, these young leaders can become drivers of social and economic change in their respective communities.


The Tuia programme is an intentional, long term, intergenerational approach to develop the leadership capacity of young Maori in communities throughout New Zealand. This programme involves local Mayors selecting a young Maori from their district to mentor on a one-to-one basis, to encourage and enhance leadership skills. It is envisaged the rangatahi (young person) will be mentored on a monthly basis, involving both informal meetings and formal occasions that will assist the young person’s development as a local leader.  The relationship also provides both partners with the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into inter-generational issues, cultural values and experiences. 

Selected rangatahi are expected to undertake and record a 100 hour community service project in their respective communities. This will provide the young person an opportunity to share their experiences, practice new strategies and demonstrate leadership.

Rangatahi will also have the opportunity to build peer networks with graduates of the Programme, obtain support and receive leadership training by attending four leadership development wānanga over the course of the year.

How The Programme Works
  • Mayors develop a ‘one-to-one’ mentoring relationship with a rangatahi in their community over a twelve month period (minimum).

  • Both parties commit to meet at least once a month to share ideas, engage in local issues and develop a relationship based on trust and respect.

  • The Mayor provides opportunities to explore local government and civic leadership (via events/hui and informal training).

  • The rangatahi provides opportunities for the Mayor to better understand their world view as a young Maori- growing up in their whanau, hapū, iwi and wider community.

  • The Mayor and rangatahi both attend 4 wānanga throughout the year, focused on growing leadership skills and networks (all previous graduates attend with 100+ rangatahi from all over New Zealand).

  • In each community, the rangatahi must also engage and/or develop a ‘community service’ project to pass on the learnings and take action.

  • Building good networks between the rangatahi themselves is paramount. Graduates of the programme provide ‘Peer support’ and ongoing development opportunities with four years of participants (100+) coming together at the wānanga and social media.  

  • Leadership development is rangatahi driven and sustainable, with governance and support provided by the TUIA Charitable Trust and Mayors.

From 2011 to 2020 Tuia have had 56 councils, 19 Participating Iwi & Organisations and over 350 rangatahi participate in the kaupapa.

For more information download the 2021 Prospectus. 

Who is eligible for the programme and how will they be selected?

The Mayor will select a young Maori who meets the following criteria:

  • Is aged between 18-25 years

  • Is actively involved in contributing to the wellbeing of their community at some level

  • Is able to commit to being involved in this part-time programme for a minimum of 12 months

  • Has support from others to participate in the programme (whanau/hapu/pakeke/employers/ community etc.)

  • Is open minded and willing to contribute to discussions and workshops

  • Is well organized and have the ability to manage their time and commitments effectively

  • Is innovative, self managing and adaptable.

The Selection Process

Each participating Mayor in partnership with their community and past rangatahi participant (where applicable) will select the candidate against the criteria outlined above. Each Mayor will determine what process they deem to be the most effective in order to identify their candidate. These may include but are not limited to the following examples:

  • Personal application (e.g. essay / presentation)

  • A nomination and selection process

  • A personal choice

  • In consultation with community groups

  • On the advice of iwi and hapu groupings

  • On the advice of the council’s community development advisors

Participating councils in 2020 


Ashburton DC

Akld-Mangere / Otahuhu


Akld- Papakura

Carterton DC

Central Hawkes Bay DC


Clutha DC

Dunedin CC

Grey DC

Hamilton CC

Hastings DC

Hauraki DC


Hutt CC

Lower Hutt CC

Kaipara DC

Kapiti Coast DC

Kawerau DC

Mackenzie DC

Marlborough DC


Matamata-Piako DC

Napier CC

Nelson CC

New Plymouth DC

Opotiki DC

Otorohanga DC

Palmerston Nth CC

Porirua CC

Queenstown-Lakes DC

Rangitikei DC

Rotorua Lakes Council

Ruapehu DC

Selwyn DC

South Waikato DC

South Taranaki DC

Tararua DC

Tasman DC

Taupo DC


Timaru DC

Waipa DC

Wairoa DC

Waitaki DC

Waitomo DC

Wanganui DC

Wellington DC

Westland DC

Whakatane DC

Whangarei DC

Waikato DC