'Wolf pack' app keeps students safe

JO MOIR
Last updated 09:52 14/01/2014
Olivia New
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

STICK WITH THE PACK: Massey University visual design students who designed a Wolf Pack app, from left, Olivia New, 21, Taylor Manley, 21, Nate Cooper, 22, Emma Bramley, 21, and Victoria Kershaw, 21.

The Wolf Pack app
SAFETY FEATURE: The Wolf Pack app aims to keep friends safe and together when out drinking.

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A wolf pack app designed to keep young people safe on a night out is being used by thousands of Wellingtonians and is set to take off nationwide.

During university orientation week early last year, Massey University students helped design the app, for which more than 2000 young people have signed up.

Between 30 and 40 groups of friends regularly used the app on Friday and Saturday nights to keep in contact with each other, Wellington City Council safety adviser Emma Titcombe said.

Five Massey University students developed the smartphone app - Stick with the Pack - which was kick-started by Wellington City Council and funded by the Ministry of Justice and ACC.

The drive this year is to get other cities using it, and young people using it more regularly.

Push notifications reminding people they're signed up to it, and to use it on nights out, would hopefully encourage more regular use, Ms Titcombe said.

Victoria Kershaw, 22, was one of the students involved with the design of the app and has since graduated and taken up a social media and marketing job with Social Code.

Last year she worked alongside Rabid, the company that built the app, and was tasked with speaking to other city councils about getting on board.

She said Auckland City Council was close to setting up the app, and there had been a lot of positive response from Dunedin and Palmerston North as well.

"The biggest opportunity for signing people up is first-year university students who are not so sure of the city and only slowly making new friend groups.

"I've heard quite a few stories from girls that thought they had lost a friend early in the night only to discover through the app they're across the road at McDonald's."

She said the app was not necessarily preventing sinister activity, but was a great safety net.

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- The Dominion Post

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