Young people doing good work in the community will now be celebrated thanks to the inaugural Whangarei Youth Awards.

Nominations for the awards, which will recognise youths between 12 and 24 who have made a difference in the community though areas such as leadership, empowerment and volunteer work, opened on Monday.

"This is a way for the community to recognise and celebrate the awesome things young people in the Whangarei District do; to hear the stories of those who fly under the radar," said Whangarei District Council (WDC) Youth Advisory Group chairman Brad Olsen.

"We've all had academic assemblies and sports assemblies, but nothing for community involvement. We ask that if you know of a young person who is giving their all for the Whangarei community, you nominate them so that we can showcase their accomplishments."

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The awards are run by the WDC Youth Advisory Group and funded by the former WDC school scholarship fund.

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai sees the youth awards as an important way to reward deserving young people in Whangarei.

"Our young people are our future and we need to encourage them.

"It's important they are recognised for their efforts to improve our district, and that their achievements are showcased through the forum of these awards."

Award categories include leadership, empowerment, team-player, group award and change-maker. More information about each individual category can be found on the application forms on the WDC website www.wdc.govt.nz, at the Whangarei Central Library and the Whangarei Youth Space.

Anyone 12-24 years who resides in the Whangarei district can be nominated, and nominations close on October 3.