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the buzz

The next generation of neighbours


Rebecca Harrington started the "know your neighbours" programme in Auckland and grew the Neighbours Day Aotearoa (NDA) movement nationwide.  She has been busy growing the next generation of neighbours and has found that being a new parent has opened up even more opportunities to connect with the neighbours.  Not only did her neighbours organise a welcome-to-the-hood party for Stella, they have also passed on pre-loved baby gear, baked treats for the family, shared home produce, arranged play dates and have been there to listen and offer advice on parenting.

To celebrate Stella's first NDA, Rebecca is planning to visit and thank neighbours that have been so generous over the past year.  They are also taking part in their neighbourhoods first "forest festival" to raise awareness and funds for the newly formed friends of okura bush.  The festival is going to feature neighbourhood musicians, home baking sales, second hand clothing stalls and activities for children.

Rebecca has been inspired by how NDA has spread throughout the country.  Last week she passed through Kaiwaka in Northland and stopped in to a local bakery.  It was there that she overheard a woman sharing her ideas for NDA with a friend and discussing the organisation of her first NDA BBQ!  This was a clear indicator to Rebecca that the NDA message has spread far and wide and we can all make a difference by doing something small (or big!).

Rebecca has a message for the new parents out there "I hope you enjoy your first NDA with your children.  May it become an annual celebration of neighbourliness on your families calendar!"



Sharing and growing kai to connect communities

One of the most popular activities for celebrating Neighbours Day Aotearoa is sharing food.  Here are some great activities happening around New Zealand.


Community Sourced brunch in Point Chev

Ben Barton will be crafting a neighbourhood brunch this Sunday 30 March at 11am with whatever local produce he can get his hands on.  This might be from the neighbours garden or hen house or from the local farmers or community market.  Stunningly located at the Harbour View Reserve with support from the Albert-Eden Local Board as part of their sustainability streets initiative.  For more information contact Viv on 021 848 847.






Tearfund's Feast for the Least

International development charity, TEAR Fund are supporting Neighbours Day Aotearoa this year!  They are challenging their members to bring neighbourhoods together for a meal, while drawing attention to global food security, and the impact of our food use. Find out more at their website here.  Take pictures of your community meal and post them on the TEAR Fund NZ facebook page. The best photo will win a $100 Gift for Life voucher, which will go to the most needy overseas.




Growing food helps to grow community, get involved in these gardening activities for Neighbours Day Aotearoa!


Grow in the City at Myers Park

Are you interested in growing your own food and getting the most out of gardening in the city?  Come to Myers Park from 10am - 2pm on Saturday 29 March for gardening information, free seeds, pop up gardens, gardening experts and activities for the kids.  Supported by Verona, Splice and the Waitemata Local Board.








Tawai Park community garden picnic in the park

Tawai Park community garden are organising a picnic in the park and community garden tour in Upper Hutt.








Community Garden open days - North Shore Auckland

As part of ecofest north, the north shore and rodney community gardens will be staging open days to coincide with Neighbours Day Aotearoa.  Download the details of the open days here.


Wellington City, getting the word out about Neighbours Day!


Wellington City Council have been busy getting the word out about Neighbours Day Aotearoa!  Wellington City is soon to be the home to the International Centre of Excellence for Community Resilience.  This Centre is being set up to answer questions about how communities can make themselves more resilient to future disasters.  

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor Malcolm Sparrow are huge advocates of Neighbours Day.  Celia stated in her opening address that "good neighbours are an everyday pleasure and a neccessity in an emergency - so it's worthwhile for everybody to know their neighbours!"  We think so too!  

Find out about what neighbourly activities Wellingtonians Nunia and Janet are planning.

Newsletter in your inbox!

Just two weeks to go until our favourite weekend of the year!  Hello can lead to a million things so get out there New Zealand and get to know your neighbours!  You can read the latest NDA newsletter here.

"Knowing your neighbours is a piece of cake" in Christchurch


We love what The Neighbourhood Project are organsing for Neighbours Day Aotearoa on the 29-30 March!  

One of the benefits of knowing your neighbours is being able to help out those who need it most in an emergency.  Cantabrians know better than most what it is like to have to rely on neighbours in an emergency situation.  

The Neighbourhood Project in Christchurch think that knowing your neighbours should be a piece of cake.  They have created this great video (featuring Jo Seagar!) of insights from neighbourhood connections here.

Neighbours Day resources in action!


Virginia Warren from Pukekohe has started handing around invitations for her Neighbours Day activity.  

She initially took the invitations and popped them in the letterboxes of 34 of her neighbours.  

She was amazed that within a few days she had heard back from two of them who were willing to lend a hand in organising their neighbourhood activity.  

Virginia commented that "this was quite a relief as I had no idea what sort of reaction I would get!".  Her initial idea has been to invite the neighbours over for a plate of finger food on Sunday March 30th.  

Getting to know your neighbours starts with hello, to access resources to help you plan your activity go to 

Treat the ladies in your life on International Women's Day, 8 March 2014

Any special ladies in your neighbourhood?  This Saturday 8 March 2014 is International Women's Day.  You can find out more about the initiative here.  Neighbours Day Aotearoa have a prize pack to give away to one lucky daughter/sister/mother/friend/aunty neighbour who you think deserves a treat this weekend.  The prize pack includes a Neighbours Day Aotearoa t-shirt and product from Loreal.  If you would like to enter, tell us about them in a comment on our facebook page.   

Community Gardens open days for Neighbours Day celebrations!


On the 29th & 30th of March five of the North Shore & Rodney’s Community Garden’s will be staging Open Days as part of Ecofest coinciding with Neighbours Day. Whether a complete novice or an accomplished green thumb local neighbours are welcome to come and connect with and get to know the people involved in these diverse & vibrant spaces. The Matakana Community Garden, the Ngataringa Organic Garden, the Devonport Community Garden, the Massey University Community Garden & the Browns Bay School Community Garden will all be taking part. For more information on each of these five events please head over to the Ecofest website here:  

Neighbourhood chit chat: a runaway toddler, a sick neighbour in need of help and the power of keeping your NDA plans simple

Story supplied by Sue.

The third of three NDA stories - straight from kiwi neighbourhoods... 

Neighbours Day is so great because you just never know what is going to happen after hosting an activity. (2012) was my second year of being involved. Last year I got involved after seeing an advertisement to come and meet people from across Auckland. It has been so good to meet other people in the community doing different things I didn’t know about. That’s what I mean about being involved, you just never know who else you will meet or the connections people are going to make. 

In 2011 we worked on a real street level. A group of us went out to meet other people on our street and we did a letter box drop about our garage sale and swap event. We held a small garage sale where people could bring anything – food, plants, clothes, etc – to swap with their neighbours. We had a really good response, so last year we decided to do the same thing and hopefully get some new people along too. We also had a business card pin board up so we could make a lasting record of the skills people had and someone from the Oakley Creek Association came along too. There is access to the creek at the end of our street and we are finding more people are coming into our street to walk along the creek. It is good to have more information on the working bees happening along the creek and more information on the environment so we might be able to give more help. It will also be good to know why people are coming and going in our street too.

On the day this year we had a great response to the garage sale and swap. People came along who had lived in the street for years and people who had only just moved in. There was an amazing contrast of people, of cultures and young and old. It was a great response and people were genuinely thrilled we had done something. Lots of people made great new friends because of it. I know some of my neighbours, two in particular, who didn’t know each other before the event, and who now see each other once a week for a cup of tea.

We also discovered some neighbours down an enclave off our street were actually having their own Neighbours Day event later that night! They came along to our street event and then had their own event later on. It was great for them and us to discover more about each other and the people who live around us.

I believe it has built a real awareness of who lives in and who visits our street. A story from last year is about one lady noticing her neighbour who usually works everyday had a car parked in her driveway one day. So she went over to check and found out that her neighbour was home and was really sick. Just that awareness of who is around and who should be around gives us some safety as a neighbourhood. It also meant this lady could help out her sick neighbour too.

Another positive story from this year was with a neighbour I met who has a toddler who is a runner and keeps getting away on her. Part of the work I do is helping mothers so I was able to create a link for her to help with this. There were lots of these little links being made all day, and probably more than I know of.

One thing that didn’t go too well was the business card swap. Not many people had cards or felt what they did wouldn’t be of interest or service to other people. So that was fine, but it was still a way of networking with people and learning more about what they do. I suppose in a little way it was successful because a lady on the street on runs a small catering business was looking for a part-time worker for a few hours a week and it looks like she has found someone now who also lives in the street.

I think if we could get together in between the annual Neighbours Day events it might help build the confidence and capital of our street even more. A year is a long time, so to do something in another six months would be beneficial; it would keep people in contact with each other just that little bit more. The best advice I can offer to people wanting to get involved is make it small to make it sustainable.


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