South­landers em­brace Neigh­bourly


South­land and Otago res­i­dents have been join­ing the Neigh­bourly phe­nom­e­non in their thou­sands.

At last count, more than 6300 peo­ple in South­land and 13,600 across Otago had signed up to the free com­mu­nity web­site that helps neigh­bours share in­for­ma­tion and stay con­nected.

By the end of last week, close to 600 peo­ple in Gore had joined up, along with 95 in Mataura and 89 in Wyn­d­ham.

Other Neigh­bourly group­ings in the Newslink’s read­er­ship area in­cluded 49 in Ta­panui, 42 in Lums­den, 38 in Clin­ton, and 26 in Rivers­dale.

Na­tion­ally, Neigh­bourly is clos­ing in on half a mil­lion mem­bers, who are us­ing the site to in­ter­act on top­ics rang­ing from lo­cal events and emer­gen­cies, af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties, crime and safety, coun­cil is­sues, lo­cal ser­vices -- even lost pets.

Oth­ers are us­ing the site to keep their neigh­bours up­dated on road clo­sures dur­ing floods or snow, how to get in­volved with lo­cal char­i­ties or dis­cuss the im­pact of coun­cil plans on their com­mu­nity.

Neigh­bourly is also the on­line home of dig­i­tal edi­tions of the Newslink, and pro­vides an easy method for com­mu­nity groups in our neigh­bour­hoods to reg­is­ter events for the news­pa­per’s ‘What’s on’ list­ings (

News sto­ries writ­ten by re­porters on the Newslink are posted to Neigh­bourly for mem­bers to see, of­ten be­fore they ap­pear in the pa­per.

Neigh­bourly is 70 per cent owned by Fair­fax Me­dia, the owner of the Newslink and Stuff.

Co-founder Casey Eden said mem­ber­ship had ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions.

‘‘We wanted to do some­thing that would en­able neigh­bours and com­mu­ni­ties to share in­for­ma­tion and en­gage in con­ver­sa­tion.

‘‘We’re blown away by how many peo­ple are us­ing it.’’

Neigh­bourly’s com­mu­nity direc­tory lets mem­bers search for neigh­bours who live nearby and com­mu­ni­cate with them.

Lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions like Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port, schools and res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tions are us­ing the site to con­nect with their com­mu­ni­ties, and mem­bers are us­ing it to set up book clubs, run­ning groups, neigh­bour­hood gar­dens, pro­duce swaps or ad­ver­tise kinder­garten fundrais­ers. ❚ To find out more about Neigh­bourly, or to sign up for free, go to neigh­

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