has been operating since 2002 in New Zealand, and was developed by Great Potentials with input from the University of Auckland Faculty of Education and the NZ Youth Mentoring Network. It is informed by international best practice. This programme addresses the gap between those who do well in education and those who do not, in the context of the strong correlation between socio-economic status and educational outcomes.

MATES releases the potential and altruism of successful university students to act as mentor/tutors to younger students.

MATES Mentors are usually just a few years older than the students they mentors, which helps demystify tertiary education for mentees and gives valuable them role models for making positive life choices.

MATES assists with transition from high school where many Mentees are the first in their family to consider University. 

Through MATES students also gain a "cohort" to share the experience with, which, together with the support of their Mentor and makes success more likely.

MATES is unique in New Zealand because it...

  • is modeled on the successful Perach project developed in Israel
  • uses a combination of mentoring and tutoring components
  • uses young people exclusively as mentors, project support and coordinators
  • pays mentors to help with their tertiary fees and living costs
  • involves an agreement between the schools, mentors, mentee and mentee's family
  • provides invaluable professional development to coordinators
  • provides sound evaluation of the programme and its outcomes for future improvements

OUTCOMES: Destinations Study 2018

In June 2018 we conducted a Destinations Study for MATES Senior Alumni who graduated in 2016 and 2017 and discovered that:


of MATES alumni were attending University


of MATES alumni were full-time students


of MATES alumni had scholarships

MATES Junior 2018

After the tremendous success of the MATES Senior programme, MATES Junior was launched in 2008. MATES Junior mentees are Year 8 students at risk of not engaging in secondary school, thus being at risk of poor life choices and reduced opportunities. MATES Junior helps prepare students for the transition from intermediate to secondary school and gives them a greater chance of success.


Schools: Avondale Intermediate; Finlayson Park School; Papakura Intermediate School; Mangere East Primary


70 mentees
Homework Sessions
100 Homework sessions


50% females
47% males
average attendance:
88% present


49% Pasifika
39% Māori
9% European
3% Asian
Time spent
2,559 programme hours


100% of mentees improved in resilience
academic skills
Mentees showed significant improvement in writing


98% of mentees improved in capability
75% of mentees reported that they feel more confident about going into
Year 9
MATES Junior Academic improvements

MATES Senior 2018

MATES Senior helps high school students who have the potential to achieve, but significant obstacles to success, make the transition to tertiary study by providing a Mentor/Tutor who has the academic and personal skills to support and guide them. Many MATES Mentees are the first in their family to consider University making the transition to tertiary education an unfamiliar and unknown experience.  Through MATES they have a cohort to share the experience, easing the transition with the support of their Mentor and each other, making success more likely.


Schools: Aorere College; Auckland Girls Grammar School; De La Salle College;
Kelston Boys High School; Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate; Southern Cross Campus College; Waitakere College


110 mentees
Homework Sessions
140 Homework sessions


52% females
48% males
average attendance:
91% present


70% Pasifika
12% Māori
15% Asian
3% European
Time spent
3,553 programme hours


97% of mentees improved in resilience
academic skills
68% achieved University Entrance


96% of mentees improved in capability
93% said MATES helped them feel more confident for the future

MATES Senior Outcomes: NCEA Level 3

The rate of MATES mentees' NCEA Level 3 achievement in 2018 was 84%, compared to to the national average of 58% (and 40% for Decile 1-3 schools)

Pass rates NCEA Level 3


MATES 2018 Report cover

DOWNLOAD MATES Evaluation report: 2018