Tawa res­i­dents get a bit more neigh­bourly

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SOPHIE LEGGETT

‘‘We went next door or used the phone if we wanted to talk to some­one,’’ is how Casey Eden de­scribed talk­ing to his neigh­bours while grow­ing up.

The in­ter­net has taken over as the main form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which spurred on Eden and Shane Bradley to co-found Neigh­bourly, a web­site that al­lows people to talk to their neigh­bours in a safe on­line en­vi­ron­ment.

Neigh­bourly, which be­gan in Auck­land, has spread to Welling­ton in the past month.

The Tawa com­mu­nity has par­tic­u­larly em­braced the con­cept.

Eden said he saw Neigh­bourly as a way for people within a com­mu­nity to meet, and then take the con­ver­sa­tion into ‘‘real life’’.

‘‘With Neigh­bourly you give a lit­tle bit of in­for­ma­tion about yourself, but you do it within a se­cure en­vi­ron­ment, and as a re­sult you’ll have a net­work of people who can help you in time of need.’’

The web­site was mod­elled on dif­fer­ent con­cepts from over­seas, and was launched in Auck­land in Fe­bru­ary.

‘‘We found de­mand was so high we soon had other people around the coun­try want­ing to get in­volved,’’ Eden said.

People in­ter­ested in set­ting up their com­mu­nity with Neigh­bourly can reg­is­ter their in­ter­est with the web­site, and are then pro­vided with the tools to make the process eas­ier.

There are now about 15,000 users na­tion­ally, with Mi­ra­mar, Tawa and Brook­lyn all strong ar­eas in Welling­ton.

Welling­ton City coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Spar­row, leader of the Tawa group, said that in the three or four weeks since they cre­ated their on­line pres­ence, they had gained more than 200 mem­bers.

Spar­row thought the con­cept would be a good fit for Tawa and put out a com­mu­nity news­let­ter, which soon at­tracted a lot of in­ter­est.

He de­scribed it as ‘‘a dig­i­tal neigh­bour­hood sup­port’’, and there were al­ready lots of people mak­ing use of it by rec­om­mend­ing re­li­able me­chan­ics, giv­ing away free items, and even a post from some­one let­ting the com­mu­nity know they had found a pet rab­bit.

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