Who are the YAG?

We are a group of 12 to 24 year olds from diverse backgrounds, all born and raised within Counties Manukau. Majority of us have lived experience in some form and because of this feel passionate about our roles in the YAG.

The YAG was formed in January 2022 before Waypoint even had a name to ensure the service and supports being formed were accountable to the needs and voices of Rangatahi within Counties Manukau. 

The YAG worked alongside a design company to develop the branding and naming of what is now known as Waypoint. 

The Youth advisory group sits alongside the Clinical cultural governance group to bring a youth lens and perspective to ensure Waypoint is flexible and accountable to the young people they are serving. 

 If you feel this is something you would like to be a part of, please contact daneka.jones@mahitahi.co.nz

Some of the ways members of the YAG described what they do and who they are as the YAG

  • A group of young people trying to get the youth voice involved and reflected in mental health and youth services. 

  • We help take feedback from our peers and communities to use for change. 

  • We evaluate existing ideas and come up with new ones. 

  • We reflect and advise on any challenges or barriers that arise, and we want to give young people a louder voice, an equal seat at the table and to advocate on behalf of young people who may not have the confidence or have ever been given the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback.

  • We know we only represent a small portion of all  the young people in Counties Manukau, but we continue to strive to ensure we are advocating as best as we can and encouraging others like yourselves to hold spaces for young people to share their thoughts

About the name - Waypoint

A Waypoint is the icon you can see in our logo. They are often used on maps or for location and navigation. A waypoint signifies the current point you are at on your journey, it can be seen as a stopping point, or a point in which your course changes. This is something that resonated with all of us as young people as we have reached many Waypoints on our own journeys and is it the kind of support, we are able to tap into that sometimes has the biggest influence on where our paths take us next. 

Waypoint is about meeting young people where they are currently at on their own Journeys, and rather than deciding where to next, or what is best for them, instead instilling hope, connection, and resilience to guide and walk alongside them to where they feel is the best next direction.

Importance of Rangatahi involvement

Ensuring that we get the importance across of including and elevating young people’s voices in anything to do with young people. 

Some of the reasons the YAG identified as a group for this being so important include: 

  • Because adults often don’t really listen to youth and what we need. In our case Waypoint is for young people, so we know best.

  • Because Rangatahi are the future, services have tried the approach of deciding what is best for young people, and it obviously isn’t working. We know what’s missing and where the gaps are for young people.

  • We have experienced it first hand, so we can relate best.

  • As young people we have a fresh perspective and bring innovative ideas.

These are just some of the reasons as to why we think is it important to include young people where young people are concerned. We reflect back on the saying “It’s not about us, without us” – when will we shift away from thinking it makes more sense to decide for young people what is best for them without even involving or asking them?

Some of us, (as have many other young people), have struggled with feeling of powerlessness, being misunderstood, not “bad” enough or not fitting into a criteria that was set by others who often make the decisions for us.

We feel privileged that it is our role to hold the Waypoint collaboration accountable in the times of reverting back, of busyness or of assuming what works best for young people. We are lucky to have a collaboration and working groups who are willing to change, to ask for Rangatahi input and to give the mana back to us when it comes to what works for Rangatahi.