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Taranaki Innovation Project | Reflections from Charniqua

A group of rangatahi met recently in Taranaki to come up with creative ideas. The theme was “how might we use technology to make online support & community accessible to all young people in Aotearoa?”. We loved their ideas and their love for their community so much, we hired them as co-designers.

The current idea is focused on connection, belonging and purpose as a way to provide support to all rangatahi. We won’t spoil it – they may want to interview you about it! They’re currently out interviewing peers, local community groups and businesses to put some of their assumptions under the microscope. If this is something you think you can help them with – register your interest below!


We caught up with one of the group, Charniqua, to have a chat about the process, and what’s important for her as a co-designer.

What have you enjoyed about the project so far? 

It’s been great to have the chance to collaborate with other youth, being able to get connected and talking. I’ve gotten to know a bunch of other young people, and it’s been cool to see the diversity.

Are there any challenges you’ve encountered?

Oh man, yes! Lately I’ve been moving house and have been super busy. Life happens, but the understanding from the Zeal team has been appreciated. 

What benefits have you seen? 

It’s helped me feel more confident, I’m kinda a shy person, so it’s been good feeling like I’m in a welcome and accepting environment. It’s also nice to spend time with people out of my normal circle.

What have you learnt? 

Oh a lot of stuff, especially about the team – they’ve all shared their stories and talked about themselves, and it’s been great to see the diversity, and get insights into other people’s lives. I’ve also learnt about the butterfly effect – how you can go big, go large and really have an effect on the future.

Any last thoughts on the process?

I love the stuff we’re doing, focusing on all the other youth and the future, and thinking about improving the future. It’s given me a sense of belonging and value.

Want to help?

If you provide community activities or spaces for young people, own a business, or are a young person yourself, this group would love to interview you! Register your interest below.
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