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Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2011 Made a Difference

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2011 Made a Difference

Online survey closes 31 May,

The organisers of Neighbours Day Aotearoa are seeking more responses and opinions on New Zealand’s ‘inaugural national celebration of neighbourliness’ that was held at the end of March.

Whether or not you took part the team want people across New Zealand to click on http://www.neighboursday.org.nz/?sid=54 and have their say through the online survey – it takes about 5 minutes.

Neighbours Day Aotearoa team member Rebecca Harrington says the survey feedback so far highlights the positive difference Neighbours Day Aotearoa has made in many neighbourhoods. “As well as knowing more of their neighbours by name, many people have said that after Neighbours Day Aotearoa they feel more positive about their neighbourhood, and are more likely to help each other out or ask for help”.

Of responses to the survey so far:

Those who thought their neighbours would be "highly likely" to ask them for help increased by over 25% after Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2011.

57% felt more positive about their neighbours/neighbourhood

74% percent of the respondents so far did take part in Neighbours Day Aotearoa activities in the last weekend of March this year (or shortly after due to weather!).

74% said that they would be likely to participate with their neighbours in 2012, and a further 22.1% said they might.

The feedback received has also shown the team some things to work on: For example, some respondents who already knew their neighbours didn’t see how the Neighbours Day celebration was relevant for them, yet the team hopes this will change. “We believe people who already have connected neighbourhoods can play a key part in helping to inspire others to be proactive in their street,” says Rebecca.

“The survey is a chance for everyone, whether they took part in Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2011 or not, to have their say. We want to know more about what impact the 2011 campaign had on Kiwi neighbourhoods, and how it can be even better in future years.”

The survey http://www.neighboursday.org.nz/?sid=54 will close on 31 May. All responses will go into a draw for a $100 grocery voucher for a street gathering.

The long term Neighbours Day Aotearoa vision: safe, fun, respectful, friendly neighbourhoods throughout NZ

Rebecca says the team realises that right now today, not everyone in New Zealand would describe their neighbourhood as friendly, or be glad to have a neighbour knock on their door. “We acknowledge that sharing a cup of tea or a BBQ may seem a long way off for some. Yet in response to Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2011 we've seen that many Kiwis want to improve their neighbourhood and have courageously taken a first step to turn their street into a neighbourhood - and the feedback shows it is already making a difference.”

In addition to the survey the team has received many emails with feedback such as this one from Christine, in Auckland:

“I had a great Neighbours Day... We had over 30 neighbours at our house for late afternoon drinks and nibbles; it was great to have them all there and great for the two new neighbours on the street to meet others. We are definitely becoming a closer community and getting to know each other better, thanks to Neighbours Day!”

The team is working on how to inspire more people to take action for Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2012 (24 - 25 March), and how Neighbours Day can help foster a spirit of neighbourliness as part of every day Kiwi culture. Rebecca emphasises that “with everyone doing our bit in our neighbourhood, and given time, we believe safe, fun, respectful, friendly neighbourhoods will become an even more important part of what makes Aotearoa New Zealand a great place to live.”

Neighbours Day Aotearoa is an initiative of LIFEWISE, Inspiring Communities and Methodist Missions Aotearoa. The 2011 campaign was supported by Westpac, Burger Wisconsin, communico, and many other regional and national supporters (see the Supporters page at www.neighboursday.org.nz for details).

ENDS

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