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Strangers now neighbours thanks to Neighbours Day Aotearoa

28 March 2012
Media Release

Strangers now neighbours thanks to Neighbours Day Aotearoa

Last weekend thousands of neighbours across the country gathered in homes, backyards, streets, parks, Marae, community centres, and local cafes, to connect with each other, some for the very first time.

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2012, a national celebration of neighbourliness, was a huge success with participation exceeding expectations.

Rebecca Harrington, campaign manager, says “we’ve heard from dozens of residents expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to meet their neighbours. People have told us how simply meeting a neighbour is already impacting their lives.”

Roland Goos, a German migrant, has lived in Ngaio, Wellington, with his wife Myriam for two years. He cancelled work to attend a Neighbours Day street party last Sunday. “I thought it was such a good idea; finally we met neighbours right next door and within the street. We’d all thought about doing something like this for a long time, but no one had done anything till now.”
“A highlight was meeting a family who lives a few doors down. We’d often walk past their house and hear the kids. Turns out we have a lot in common and we’re going to get together again.”

“It’s not only the fun part that’s valuable, but knowing your neighbours can have practical benefits, such as people looking out for your house when you’re away or being prepared for emergencies as we’ve learnt from Christchurch. We’ve become more aware of neighbours who are isolated or require special support, such as people with disabilities. We can all help to look out for each other,” added Mr Goos.

“I would highly recommend taking part in Neighbours Day and to keep the connections going throughout the year. There’s nothing to be scared of, it’s all about introducing yourself and meeting those who live close to you. You hear them, you see them, so it’s good to know them. Relationships within neighbourhoods are so important that I think Neighbours Day should be a public holiday.”

Neighbours Day Aotearoa is grateful to our sponsors – particularly Signify and Bell Tea. We also want to acknowledge the support of Westpac and Barfoot & Thompson and, thanks to Bell Tea and Canon New Zealand, there are prizes for the best stories and photographs of neighbourly celebrations that happened over Neighbours Day. People can find out more at The website will be updated throughout the year and people are encouraged to sign up so that they can be the first to know about Neighbours Day 2013.
The campaign team from Lifewise, Inspiring Communities, Neighbourhood Support NZ, and Mental Health Foundation expect that Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2013 (30 – 31 March) will involve thousands more neighbours than 2012.


© Scoop Media

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