Whangārei youth now have a tool to find out what's happening in the city and safe places they can go thanks to a project by the local youth space.
The What's Good in Our Hood? project combines a map locating services available to young people, a Facebook page where they can find out what's happening in the city, and a website.
Project co-ordinator Izaia Tilialo said the project started after Whangārei Youth Space youth team leader Ryan Donaldson found a hand-drawn map with places you could go in Wellington.
"We realised that youth didn't fully know the services for them and Ryan remembered this map and asked me to come on board.
"We thought it would be cool to create something like it but instead of focusing solely on little cool shops, we would focus on youth services - places they can go if they needed something or just safe places they can hang or chill out. Alongside that we wanted to create a tool of some sort which would act as an event calendar," he said.
Tilialo said they started working on the project in October last year, and receiving funding from the Tamariki Ora fund.
"From the get go we wanted to see what youth wanted it to look like. So the main creative process we went through was regularly checking in with youth that came into the space and also we put together a focus group of different youth."
The result was a map drawn by Pompallier Catholic College graduates Laura Torres, Leah Parratt and Emma Tyson dotted with locations chosen by youth including Rubicon, the Whangārei Library, Northland Youth Theatre and a range of food places.
"This project was done with youth at the helm, which I think is really cool," Tilialo said.
The project officially launched on June 22. Tilialo said they went to Whangārei Boys' High School and Kamo High School and talked with students, put on a concert and handed out some maps.
He said they had received positive feedback from youth so far.
"We are a very small city and I think sometimes youth feel like being in small city it feels like there's not a lot going on, or there aren't a lot of places for them. We thought it was important to create this because there are things here, and there are places for them."