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.

Counting down to Christchurch – Registrations close on Friday!

Things have been hectic here in Christchurch this week, with the end of the week and the close of registrations drawing nearer! Big thanks to the Ministry of Awesome, IITP, and CPIT, for putting the word out!, and we’re looking forward to chatting with the crew at RDU tomorrow morning, to talk about LIFEHACK! We’ve…


Fresh off the back of an inspiring time in Auckland to attend the inaugral Lifehack event (read more about it here), I am pumped and rocking through the final touches for Wellington THIS FRIDAY!! Final touches have been made with Massey to make sure our space is going to look after us well and nurture…

AUCKLAND LIFEHACKERS – Dreams, Schemes and Creations

No blog post can do justice to the incredible work that was put in by each team over the weekend, but we’ll do our best to summarise all of the heart and creativity that was put in: Springboard This team identified that youth don’t really connect with themselves and what makes them tick. So exploring…


Our first weekend is now done and dusted, but we’re still basking in the glow of all of the amazingness that the Auckland Lifehackers brought to the weekend. Right from Friday night the beautiful new WG Building at AUT became home to our busy action station, of dreaming, scheming and creating, which kicked off with…

Auckland Lifehackers Assemble!

We’re sprinting towards our first LIFEHACK weekend, with Auckland proceedings kicking off in just over a day! And of course the most important part of a LIFEHACK Weekend is the LIFEHACKERS themselves, so we were pretty excited to lock down our first list of LIFEHACKERS on Tuesday afternoon. Seeing our hipsters, hackers and hustlers all…

Wellington – Reports from on the Road

Back once again, this time writing from a Christchurch cafe. This week I’m on the road, ending with a trip up north to be at the inaugural LIFEHACK event in Auckland. The time is almost here. If you didn’t see last week’s post – I announced that we will be rocking the Wellington event at…

Dunedin – A hectic but productive week!

Hi Everyone! I realised last week that I never properly introduced myself! So here we go: Hi! I’m Tom and I’m a 20 year old 3rd year Student at Otago Uni studying towards a BSc in Neuroscience. I’m also a freelance web developer. What makes me a little different from all the other regional co-ordinators…

Christchurch – It’s All Coming Together!

Hey everyone!  We’re excited to announce that the University of Canterbury College of Arts Digital Humanities Programme will be hosting our Christchurch LIFEHACK Weekend on campus at The Undercroft in the James Hight Building!  It’s a awesome space!   The University is pretty accessible for students, with the Orbiter and Metro Star services going past…

Location, Location, Location, Grateful

I’m back again with a whole bundle of awesome news from Wellington! What a week! I’m so hugely grateful to a couple of individuals – Anna Brown from Massey Uni, and Philippa Bowron at Wellington City Council for all their energy and support toward the project this week, it feels like it’s been a big turning point…

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.