Tawa residents get a bit more neighbourly
‘‘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.