A Northland teenager who wants to ensure no more lives are lost to suicide has now won a $10,000 scholarship to go towards creating a hub for youth in Kaitaia.

After losing two friends to suspected suicides Nina Griffiths, 18, has been campaigning about suicide prevention in Kaitaia to ensure no more lives are lost.

"I've had some amazing mentors who have really inspired me ... I'm also doing it for my mates because I don't want anyone to have to lose a friend like I have," she said.

Ms Griffiths wanted to establish a safe place where youth could hang out, or get advice. The youth space in Kaitaia was a pop-up youth space and the contract ran out this year. So Nina applied for a $10,000 AMP scholarship to restart it.


"I really didn't expect it. I was really proud and I didn't feel like I had won it. I felt like it was a win for the community."

Ms Griffiths said the $10,000 would go towards securing a place for the youth space.

"It will be a youth space run by the community where positive activities could be run to combat the suicides. We want to work on building resilience in the community by giving [youth] somewhere to go and access opportunities and social services."

She said there was no one-stop shop for youth in Kaitaia.

"There are various places for those sorts of things but they're all spread out and there's no collaboration. That's the strength of having it all in one place - I can go there and get career advice and talk to a counsellor."

Ms Griffiths said she would talk to Te Hiku Hauora about potentially collaborating on establishing the youth space. The Kaitaia health organisation has received $25,000 from Te Puni Kokiri to set up a drop-in centre for youth.

Mr Griffiths said the next step will be deciding where to base the youth space.

"That $10,000 will go to a trial run. There's a hope we can say for the first two months of the year local businesses can sponsor the power, making it sustainable and community run."