Publica News

Back to Blog

Client: Neat Places

Case Studies


Taking Neat Places from local to national



It can be hard to get to know a city. Whether visiting for the weekend, relocating for a job or perhaps having lived there for years, we all want to feel like we know where to go.

After the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, Christchurch became unknown to everyone. The city that residents knew had been wiped out and hundreds of new-to-the-city people arrived to help with recovery . Local girl Marcia Butterfield saw that people needed help getting to know the city and she also saw that in response to the flattened city there were huge numbers of really cool initiatives, new businesses and events happening all over the place that could get missed in all the rubble and dust. Marcia’s response was the creation of the Neat Places map, a printed guide to what was happening across the city, from places to stay, to eat, to shop and to be entertained.

Seeing the potential for this to be an online service, reaching thousands of people in multiple cities, the clever Neat Places founder contacted Publica in 2014 and asked us to help grow the concept.


With the Neat Places map already being a huge success, we transferred the concept over to a neat (ahem) and easily navigated website that would represent the existing “neat places”, categorising them so they could be easily found by site users. The “neat” businesses could then register and choose to upgrade their listing to further promote their services and products.

At this point we introduced event listings onto the website, giving local event organisers the opportunity to submit their events to be approved and included in the Neat Places line-up.

The beauty of Neat Places is that it can be applied to any city. With a remit of finding the interesting, new, cool and quirky places for people to discover, it can help people to get to know any city in the world. At this point, the website has NZ covered with Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin now joining Christchurch.

Alongside the website we created the Neat Places app, which empowers people to get even more out of the city they’re exploring. Features include:

- multi-city mapping

- live location mapping functionality

- dedicated web service

- venue display across multiple categories

- social media integration

- directory listings

- a business backend with vouchers system


The app is responsive and easy to update for the Neat Places team, ensuring businesses are represented across the maps and categories. Plus the in-built GPS technology means an intuitive experience for the app user as they move around the city they are in.

It’s been a great privilege for the Publica team to help take this clever concept to the next level and we’re pleased they feel the same way, “it’s exciting to work with a team who are enthusiastic and are always coming up with ways to make our ideas a reality.” Marcia Butterfield, Neat Places Director.

If your business idea needs help to get to the next level, we might be able to help, get in touch.

Latest Posts

Publica + Empire9. How it works.


From The Studio

Hot Topics: Digital Marketing

Publica and Empire9 are two agencies with parallel specialisations. But really, we’re one. We share offices, staff, clients and Friday drinks, and we function as one multi-disciplinary agency. Publica people are your go-to on strategy, design and development. We’re a...

Congratulations to Giesen


From The Studio

Another win for one of our favourite vintners. Giesen Chief Winemaker, Nikolai St George, has taken out Winemaker of the Year for the fourth time at the Royal Easter Wine Show. Some of Giesen’s signature wines were also celebrated on...

Leading the Team


From The Studio


As our General Manager, Lissa’s operational skills have been crucial in delivering some of our key complex Publica platform builds over the years. Put simply, she makes things happen around here – her strengths are focused around project planning, team...