A group of young people from Whangārei have organised an expo to bring opportunities, services and inspiration to youth and to canvass ideas for a community initiative.

Whangārei Future Leaders - a leadership development programme - have organised the first Aspire to Inspire Youth Expo which is being held at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa's Whangārei campus tomorrow from 11am to 3pm.

Shaquille Shortland, a Whangārei Future Leaders mentor, said as part of the programme youth have to do a community event so they decided to organise a youth expo.

"The goal is to bring all of the different youth services and organisations that are offering development opportunities, as well as some Whangārei born and bred rangatahi that have done some cool stuff, and just bringing them all to one place.


"The second goal was to canvass ideas for a community initiative or something that Whangārei thinks we need more of for youth. It could be anything, for example one of the youth from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa suggested some sort of free feed in town every week, or it could be as big as a shared space for youth to do business."

Shortland said it's only been a month and a half since the youth decided to go ahead with an expo.

He said organising it had been a good learning experience for the young people.

"It was about getting the youth to experience what it would be like to be someone that's having to network with other organisations.

"We all had our little teams - a management team, logistics team and a design team - so all the posters were designed by the youth in the programme. We got them to email out and they experienced not being replied to which was a sad thing for me to see."

Speakers at the event are all Whangārei born and bred and include Alyx Pivac, who will talk about the Young Pacific Leaders Conference and her experience in Miss Universe New Zealand; Waimirirangi Koopu-Stone Ormsby who will speak about representing New Zealand at the United Nations for the Climate Change Conference; and Zee Tana who will talk about starting up a business and trying to put a Māori lens on it.

There will also be entertainment on the day.

For more information visit facebook.com/FutureLeadersWhangarei