MATES (Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme) addresses the underachievement in education of disadvantaged youth in New Zealand.

MATES Intervenes in a young person's education at two key transition points: 

MATES mentoring is relaxed and relational
MATES Junior - Year 8

Mentees are Year 8 students at risk of not engaging in secondary school, leaving them exposed to a greatly reduced chance of success in high school and in life.

MATES Senior - Year 13

Mentees are Year 13 students who have the potential to succeed at tertiary study or in further training or employment but may not reach the required level without targeted help. Typically, they are the first in their family to consider tertiary education.


How  works

Research has shown that a combination of mentoring and tutoring increases academic achievement, raises aspirations, and enhances self-confidence for those at risk of underachieving.  

Mentors are University students who are recruited, trained and supervised by MATES Coordinators.

Mentees are students identified by their teachers as being disengaged or at risk of not realising their personal and academic potentials.

Mentees are matched with mentors for the academic year. Through a combination of one-to-one mentoring/tutoring and group workshops, mentors help young students with academic study, numeracy, and literacy, guidance on future pathways, and provide the listening ear that young people need.

Mentoring pairs meet throughout the year, once a week after school for a two-hour mentoring and tutoring session.


  makes a difference

MATES is extremely successful at raising the level of aspiration and achievement for high school students attending Decile 1-3 schools, where the majority of the student population comes from low-income families.

MATES Senior mentees achieve NCEA Level 3 far above the national average. 84% of MATES students achieved NCEA Level 3 in 2018 compared to the national average of 58% - and 40% for Decile 1-3 schools.


 Schools 2023

Each year MATES works with approximately 200 students from 11 schools across Auckland's low-socioeconomic communities. 

MATES Senior

Aorere College

Auckland Girls' Grammar School 

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate

Southern Cross Campus

Tamaki College

MATES Junior

Avondale Intermediate School

      Clendon Park School

Finlayson Park School

Mangere East Primary School

Papakura Intermediate School

Henderson Intermediate School

“I cannot reiterate enough how this programme has extended, upskilled and provided my students with support to envision, plan and action a university pathway that is suitable for them" - Shauna Eldridge, Deputy Principal, Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate