Turn streets into neighbourhoods
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:
BARBECUES ON THE BERM
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.
FIESTAS BETWEEN THE FLOORS
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.
POP-UPS IN PUBLIC PLACES
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.