Lifehack was a systems-level intervention in youth mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Over 2013-2017 we grew the capacity of the system to support the wellbeing of young people, with an emphasis on co-design, prevention and capability building.

Use our runsheets, methods and other resources to improve your work alongside young people.

If you need inspiration or ideas for your own youth wellbeing programmes, our blog is the place for you.

Interested in our approach? Our initiatives page shows the range of programmes we ran from 2013 to 2017.

Our Impact

Lifehack put young people at the centre of service innovation. Between 2013 and 2017, we evolved our ways of working in response to evaluation and reflection on a wide range of activities.

We moved from an ‘app’ focus to working with people across the system who supported youth mental health and wellbeing. Working with people from diverse backgrounds and points of influence in the service system modeled our desire to move the system toward helping young people to flourish.

Our Final Report weaves the threads together

If you're strapped for time, head straight to the section for you:

  • Want to support youth-led lab, start up, social enterprise and innovation approaches to youth wellbeing? Section 4 is for you.
  • Working on the front-lines to influence youth wellbeing or responsible for workforce development? Check out Section 5.
  • Making policy about youth wellbeing, suicide prevention, education and youth development? You'll enjoy Section 6.
Lifehack final report title page

Our Latest Articles

Visit the full lifehack blog page to see all our articles.

Silvia’s Lifehack Journey So Far

Lifehack has been a great discovery journey for me so far and my trip to Christchurch and meeting Lifehackers in Wellington has been a highlight! In Christchurch I met up with teams – but was also able to connect with some great organisations who are keen to get more involved in phase two. I continue…

Touching Base in Auckland and Dunedin

I had an amazing trip to Auckland and Dunedin. I met up with members of each top 10 team in those cities, as well as the wider community of Lifehack supporters. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come say hello! Meeting everyone in person underlined for me how much enthusiasm, generosity, and excitement…

Hello, Nice To Meet You – We’re Coming to Visit!

There is much news from LIFEHACK HQ! By now you should have heard about some of the changes to the team, but the best news yet is that a couple of our newbies, Alanna & Silvia from the Enspiral Network are coming to a town near you… real soon. You see, we’ve now gathered the…


We’re nearing the end of the first series of LIFEHACK. So, we’re making time to reflect on all of the amazing things that have happened so far, and how we can keep sharing, and growing all of the energy and momentum that you’ve all been part of. Right now the video proposals prepared by the…

It’s been awesome

What a year it’s been so far. LIFEHACK has been the most amazing ride, and I’m so proud of everything that’s come out of it. LIFEHACK has shown me that there are so many awesome people who all believe in supporting our young people. And, while it’s still early days, with phase two; judging of…

Top Idea Videos LIVE!

The time has come. After months and months of preparation, they’re finally ready – the 10 top ideas of LIFEHACK 2013. It is with great pleasure that we introduce these to you in no particular order. Judging begins today (Friday 31st May) and goes for two weeks by a panel of carefully selected peeps from…

Dunedin Wrap Up – saving the best ’til last!

Our final LIFEHACK Weekend for 2013 went down in Dunedin, and once again we were blown away by the ingenuity and talent on display. The weekend kicked off at The Hunter Center, located at The University of Otago’s health sciences department. It was perfect environment as we had large open spaces as well as many…

LIFEHACKING in Christchurch!

Wow, what a weekend! Here in Christchurch, we’ve turned community spirit into an art form, and this was evident during our LIFEHACK Weekend.  Everyone pitched in to make sure the event was a memorable one. Olivia and I knew we might have a few issues trying to secure a venue in Christchurch, and with good…

The Creative Capital has been lifehacked!

Five more awesome ideas pitched @lifehackhq. If this is an example of NZs problem solving potential we need more events like this! — chris clay(@chrisclaynz) April 14, 2013 This tweet from one of our judges, Chris Clay, couldn’t really sum up the weekend any better. Massey’s College of Creative Arts was filled with the eager…

In Lifehack's four years, we've learned a lot about how to apply tools and processes from codesign, facilitation, technology, te ao Māori, social enterprise and wellbeing science to a youth wellbeing context.

We've released our supply of resources for you to use in your mahi alongside young people. So please - check them out, print them off and find out for yourself whether they can recharge your work with young people!

Community Hackathon Manual

Host Your Own Community Hackathon

Community Hackathons are a magical way to bring together a diverse community to work on promising projects. We've found them so useful that we created a step-by-step guide to promoting, organising and hosting your own community hackathon!

Wellbeing Design Challenge

A wellbeing design challenge based around milk – it sounds strange, right! But this is one of our favourite sessions that we’ve run time and time again. If you want to introduce people to design thinking, this is a great place to start.

Relationship Building Sort Cards

Relationship-building is one of the foundations of effective facilitation. If you're not sure how to get people beyond the superficial “what do you do for work?" question, this Relationship Building Sort Card package could be what you need.

Creating Group Kawa (Culture): Ko Wai Au Worksheet

Think back to the last time you joined a new group of people. Perhaps you started a new job, turned up to a meetup group, or attended a training workshop. Did you have the opportunity to contribute to the culture and norms (the kawa) of the group from the outset...?

We recommend getting support as early as possible if you, or someone you know, are having a hard time with wellbeing or mental distress. Mental distress affects one in five New Zealanders each year and around half of us will experience distress at some time in our lives.