Bring­ing back sugar-lend­ing com­mu­ni­ties


A quiet cul-de-sac in Bayview has de­cided to take a stand against crime by start­ing its own Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port group.

Af­ter there was a theft on his street, con­cerned neigh­bour Ron Helle­soe said it was time to band to­gether and work as a neigh­bour­hood unit.

Espe­cially con­sid­er­ing the close com­mu­ni­ties of the past have faded in mod­ern times. So, Helle­soe went knock­ing on ev­ery door in his small street to rally sup­port for its first pub­lic meet­ing on Novem­ber 5.

‘‘Ev­ery­one was very sup­port­ive of the idea. Al­most the whole street was there [at the meet­ing],’’ he said.

There are so many crimes that have been com­mit­ted, where neigh­bours have seen or wit­nessed it and not done any­thing - be­cause they couldn’t tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween a bur­glar and a vis­i­tor, he said.

‘‘It’s hard to see New Zea­land the way it is now. You don’t know who to trust.’’

Helle­soe said he wants to bring back the ‘‘sugar-bor­row­ing’’ com­mu­nity spirit.

The next step will be get­ting a Face­book page to­gether, and or­gan­is­ing a street party for De­cem­ber.

In fact, ever since the meet­ing on Sun­day, the close­ness of the street has been im­proved, he said.

The wide range of na­tion­al­i­ties and jobs on his street is amaz­ing and he is en­joy­ing get­ting to know his neigh­bours, he said.

Peo­ple say, ‘‘Hello, how are you,’’ when they walk down the street, he said. ‘‘It’s pro­vid­ing trust in your com­mu­nity.’’

Af­ter his cul-de-sac’s group is firmly es­tab­lished, Helle­soe said he is go­ing to go door-to-door on the next street.

‘‘I want to en­cour­age and de­velop lead­ers and hope­fully this will pave the way for a more pos­i­tive fu­ture too,’’ he said.

‘‘We are all lead­ers,’’ he said. ‘‘I can’t make it work, my neigh­bours can. It’s not about me it’s about us.’’

North Shore Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port man­ager Jac­quie Jarry said neigh­bour­hood groups are ‘‘to­tally ben­e­fi­cial’’.

Get­ting to know your com­mu­nity es­tab­lishes that ‘‘vil­lage feel’’ that has fallen down a bit, Jarry said.

The po­lice are busy, so get­ting to know your neigh­bours and watch­ing out for each other can make a dif­fer­ence.

To start a group head to neigh­bour­hood­sup­


Com­mu­nity mem­ber Ron Helle­soe wants to en­cour­age oth­ers to be­come lead­ers.

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