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About Us

Our Vision:

Healthy rangatahi who feel valued, supported and positively engaged in life

The Collaborative Trusts Vision Healthy rangatahi (1).jpg

Our Story

The Collaborative Trust was founded and continues to be driven by Dr Sue Bagshaw. Renowned for her laser focus and relentless determination to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Aotearoa, Sue’s career is a testimony to her passion for equality and positive youth development.

The Trust's mission is to support the healthy, mana-enhancing development of rangatahi in Aotearoa by being responsive to the needs of those who work with them through training, research and evaluation, and through advocacy.

We lead university-level training and research but we are not a university. We are a registered charity and receive donations and grants, but we also derive some income from what we charge, so we are a business, too. We provide tools to parents, professionals, services, and businesses that work with young people to enhance their positive healthy development and we could do so much more for those that can't afford to pay if we had more donations.

Our Values

Working in partnership with Māori and honouring the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Seeking to honour the contribution of Pasifika people and the 'Pacific Way'

Being a bicultural organisation that is inclusive of all cultures, ethnicities and identities

Working by co-ordination, sharing and strengthening

Maintaining youth participation and mentorship at all levels of the organisation

Promoting holistic views of positive youth development which include wellbeing in the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, family, school and community areas of life

Our Working Model

We work with the people who support or work with young people by sharing access to high quality information about healthy youth development relevant to rangatahi in Aotearoa, New Zealand because we produce:

  • Evidence-informed training that supports the healthy development of rangatahi

  • Community-based research that aligns with other research to inform the knowledge base about healthy youth development

  • Evaluations of programmes and services provided for youth


We ensure that the voices of rangatahi are included in the knowledge base about healthy youth development because we:

  • Focus on research/evaluation and training by, with and for young people

  • Strive to involve rangatahi in every aspect of our organisation by recruiting, training and mentoring young people as researchers, educators, and board members


We advocate for evidence-informed policy and practice that enhances healthy youth development by:

  • Providing space for youth voices to be heard

  • Working to support greater dissemination and translation of youth development research

Meet The Team

Short History

The Collaborative Trust began in 2003 with community meetings at which the three goals of research, training and advocacy were agreed on.


After a scoping project in 2004 the new Trust was registered in 2005, and a manager appointed. The structure of the organisation was developed by the Board to formalise the function of training and research committees with Chairpersons and a Director. These were all staffed by volunteers.


The first activity of the Trust was to run a seminar series giving local researchers the opportunity to share their work with the community. Our first one-day hui was based around local researchers talking about their work with the community. This grew to a two-day national hui with a pre-hui workshop. We then worked with Ara Taiohi to run the Involve conferences.


We have undertaken many funded research, evaluation and training contracts both nationally and locally. Topic based workshops have been the most recent training activity and a Youth Health and Development resource manual and a book of stories from young people have been sold across the country to a wide range of professionals.


In 2023 our number one focus is on evidence-informed training and professional development workshops, presentations and webinars. There is a huge need for training on a wide range of topics related to youth health, wellbeing, and development.


Our bespoke trainings are delivered in-house or online to any organisation or group who works with or supports youth. This includes anything from government organisations to corporates, physical and mental health specialists, teachers and parents, to community groups and sports coaches.


All current research contracts are continuing, as with our advocacy work, all supported by a dedicated team of contractors and volunteers.

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