Frequently asked questions

How does Whītiki Tauā Virtual Mentoring work?

Whītiki Tauā connects you to a committed caring adult mentor who you’ll have regular chats with via video call. Video calls can be done through the Whītiki Tauā app which you can download free to your smart phone.

To start with, our Whītiki Tauā Coordinator will talk to you about how it all works and get you signed up. This is easy – there’s a questionnaire about your interests and what you are looking to get out of mentoring. They will help you get connected with one of our awesome mentors and get you set up for the first mentoring session.

Why am I being offered Whītiki Tauā Virtual Mentoring?

If you are participating in the Mana in Mahi – Strength in Work programme or are an 18–24-year-old who is receiving a benefit (or recently come off a benefit to enter work/study), Whītiki Tauā virtual mentoring is available to you.

Is there a cost for this?

No – it’s completely free! This is because you are:

  • Part of the Mana in Mahi – Strengthen in Work programme paid for by the Government;
  • You’re 18-24 and on a Work and Income benefit; or
  • You’re 18-24 and have recently come off a benefit to start work or study
  • What does ‘virtual’ mean and what do I need to make it work?

    Virtual means you’re connected to the mentor but, instead of meeting up in person, you connect with your mentor through phone or video call. We use the Whitiki Taua app for video calls (a bit like FaceTime) which can be downloaded onto a smart phone. You will need to be connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data to use the app.

    What does Whītiki Tauā mean?

    Whītiki Tauā means “I’ve got your back” in te reo Māori. This ties into what we provide with this virtual mentoring service – someone who will be there for you, no matter what.

    Is the Whītiki Tauā Virtual Mentoring Service part of the government?

    The Whītiki Tauā Virtual Mentoring Service is run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa which is a social enterprise independent of government. See Whakarongorau Aotearoa for more information.

    Funding for this service comes from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

    What is a mentor?

    A mentor is a consistent, reliable, and safe person to kōrero (talk) with, ask questions and get advice from. You can talk to them about anything you want to – whether you’re feeling unsure of what direction to take or facing challenges with friends, whānau, work or life in general. They have your back!

    What happens the first time I meet with my mentor?

    At the first session, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to your mentor and start to get to know them. They will review your enrolment questionnaire so they can find out more about you. You’ll go through a discussion on how the mentoring sessions will run and agree some rules and guidelines together.

    What if I don’t like my mentor or want to change mentors?

    It is really important that you feel comfortable and are able to connect with your mentor. Sometimes this just doesn’t happen, it may be for a variety of reasons (cultural/value differences). If you don’t, it’s ok to ask to change to a different mentor. You can do this by discussing it with the Whītiki Tauā Coordinator on 0800 089898 between 10am – 6:30pm.

    What can I talk to my mentor about?

    You can talk to them about anything you want to - perhaps challenges you’re having with work, your friends, whānau or life in general. They’ll listen to you and support you without judging or telling you what to do. The great thing about Whītiki Tauā mentors is if you’re struggling with some bigger life challenges, they can help you to access support services within Whakarongorau Aotearoa for that extra support.

    What else would I do with my mentor?

    Anything that’s helpful for you! As part of your mentoring journey, your mentor will be helping you to set some goals. You might like to use the sessions with your mentor to work on things that take you closer to your goals. Your mentor is someone you can chat openly with but also have fun with!

    Can I change my session time?
    Yes, you can change your session time through the Whītiki Tauā app with 24 hours’ notice. Sometimes things come up suddenly and so if you need to change your session on the day, it’s best to call the Whītiki Tauā coordinator on 0800 089898 .
    Can I contact my mentor outside of my sessions?

    Yes. In your first session with your mentor, you’ll agree together some rules on how you want your relationship to work. This will include when and how you could contact them outside your sessions.

    What is the Whītiki Tauā App?

    The Whītiki Tauā app is a platform for you to connect with your mentor. You can chat with your mentor through voice or video call at the time of your session. Your mentor can message you through the app to check in and you are able to reply to these messages. You can also manage your appointments through the app.

    Where do I get the Whītiki Tauā App?

    The Whītiki Tauā App is available for Apple or Android smartphones.

    For Apple, go to the App Store and search for Whītiki Tauā.

    For Android, go to Google Play and search for Whītiki Tauā.

    What if I don’t want to do a video call?

    Your mentor will ask if you want video or audio calls with them. If you choose audio, they’ll call your mobile direct instead of through the app. Sometimes you might use one or the other to connect, depending on where you are and times of the day.

    Can I meet my mentor face-to-face?

    Whītiki Tauā is a virtual service which allows us to connect with people right across Aotearoa. It’s likely that you could be in a different part of the country from your mentor and so we are unable to arrange face to face catch ups.

    What if I don’t want to have a mentor anymore?

    When you enrol in Whītiki Tauā we ask you to commit to this for a period of 12 months. This might seem like a long time, but you will be surprised how fast that time goes! At the completion of your mentoring, you can reflect on the achievements and connection you’ve had with your mentor over the year.

    We appreciate that over 12 months, you might change your mind or be unable to continue with mentoring. You can contact the Whītiki Tauā coordinator on 0800 089 898 to let us know that you would like to opt out. If there is something that we can do to make your mentoring experience work better for you, please reach out to us.

    What if I have no internet or data at the time of my session?

    Your mentor will message you through the App before they start the session to check you’re good to go. If they get no response, they’ll give you a call to your mobile direct. Your session should be able to continue by phone, or you could re-schedule for a time that works for you.

    If you know you’re going to have issues in advance, it would be great if you could let your mentor know or contact our Whītiki Tauā Coordinator on 0800 089898.

    How do I contact someone directly?

    If you can’t get hold of your mentor, you can contact our Whītiki Tauā Coordinator on 0800 089898 Monday to Friday between 10am – 6pm.

    Will this affect my benefit or job?

    No. Having a mentor through Whītiki Tauā will not impact your benefit, job, or study. Your mentor will be there for you regardless of whether you are in employment, applying for a job, moving between jobs, or studying.

    Will my mentor tell anyone what I say?

    No – we realise confidentiality and what’s discussed between you and you mentor is private. The only time your mentor would tell someone else about your conversations would be if you were in danger or were at risk of harming yourself or someone else. Your mentor will tell you they’ve passed on information to others. If they thought, you were really in trouble or likely to harm yourself – they will likely call emergency services.

    To help your mentor support you as best possible - your mentor may take some notes about the session which we’ll store on our Whītiki Tauā system. They may also discuss things with their supervisor to see how they can best help you.

    If for whatever reason you have any concerns or questions about your information being shared with others, you can discuss it with the Whītiki Tauā Coordinator at any time.

    Whītiki Tauā mentoring is bound by law to follow the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993.

    How will my information be used?

    As above – no personal information will be shared about you to others unless in an emergency.

    For us to know how Whītiki Tauā mentoring is working, we may ask you to fill in some short surveys a couple of times throughout the 12 months and again at the end. This just helps us to know how it’s going for you and allow us to make things as best as possible for all involved in Whītiki Tauā.

    This information will also be evaluated and be passed to the funder (Ministry of Social Development). It will just be data information with no names or personal details in it.

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