Turn streets into neigh­bour­hoods

Wairarapa News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Get to know the peo­ple who live around you, write and

Whether you live in sub­ur­bia, in an apart­ment or on a ru­ral prop­erty, you have neigh­bours – and know­ing your neigh­bours mat­ters.

Get­ting to know the peo­ple who live around you, even if it’s just so you can greet them by name over the fence or pop in for an oc­ca­sional cuppa, cre­ates a hap­pier, safer and more con­nected neigh­bour­hood.

A sur­vey con­ducted by Statis­tics New Zealand in 2015 found 44 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion be­lieve they do not have any­one ‘‘sup­port­ive’’ liv­ing next door.

This meant more than four in 10 of us were not on the best of terms with those on the other side of the fence.

On the week­end of March 24 and 25, com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try will be tak­ing time out to get to know their neigh­bours. The an­nual Neigh­bours Day Aotearoa, now in its ninth year, is a time for neigh­bours to cel­e­brate their com­mu­ni­ties and get to know new neigh­bours.

Neigh­bours Day Aotearoa is a col­lab­o­ra­tive cam­paign or­gan­ised and sup­ported by Life­wise, In­spir­ing Com­mu­ni­ties, The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion, Christchurch Methodist Mis­sion and New Zealand Red Cross.

This year the team at Neigh­bours Day have come up with some sim­ple ways to con­nect, along with ways to get your neigh­bours in­volved:


It’s as sim­ple as fir­ing up a kerb­side bar­be­cue and invit­ing your neigh­bours around for some kai. It can be as low key or as high volt­age as you want, and the best part is – you don’t have to tidy your house.

Put an event on Neigh­bourly.co.nz and send out an in­vite to those liv­ing around you.


For peo­ple liv­ing in apart­ment build­ings, or work­ing in an of­fice block, host­ing a bar­be­cue in a hall­way might not be the best idea. In­stead, host a Fi­esta Be­tween the Floors, it might save you a fire ser­vice call-out fee.


Events in pub­lic parks, squares or com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion car parks mean you can tai­lor some­thing unique to your area. Make sure you talk to your lo­cal coun­cil or com­mu­nity board about get­ting a per­mit if you are or­gan­is­ing your event in a pub­lic area. There are also op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply for coun­cil grants to help fund your event.


Wild Card events are for peo­ple who want the free­dom to or­gan­ise some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent, or a lit­tle bit spe­cific. A com­mu­nity clean up? A fam­ily sports day? A work­ing bee for your lo­cal com­mu­nity gar­den? Prepa­ra­tion for the Zom­bie Apoc­a­lypse? It’s up to you, go wild! Use Neigh­bourly.co.nz to in­vite the friendly folk liv­ing around you – they might have some bright Wild Card ideas too.

Now’s the time to get plan­ning. Make good use of the tool­kit of ideas and re­sources avail­able on the Neigh­bours Day web­site: neigh­bours­day.org.nz – they’re sim­ple, cost ef­fec­tive and won’t take up a heap of your time.


In­vite your neigh­bours around for a bar­be­cue - it can be as low key or as high volt­age as you want.

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