Neighbours Day Tenant Summit

24.03.12

Kia ora Tātāu

Whakataka te hau ki te uru
Whakataka te hau ki te tōnga
Kia mākinakina ki uta
Kia mātaratara ki tai
E hī ake ana te atakura
He tio, he huka, he hauhū
Tihei mauri ora !

Cease oh winds of the west
And of the south.
Let the bracing breezes flow
Over the land and the sea ;
Let the red-tipped dawn come
With a sharpened edge, a touch of frost, a
Promise of a glorious day. Behold, there is life!

E ngā iwi, e ngā reo, e ngā mana,
To the many peoples, all voices, all authorities

E ngā tai e whā,
Those from the four tides

E ngā manuhiri tuārangi,
To our visitors

Rau rangatira ma!
Our distinguished leaders & guests

Nau mai
Greetings and welcome

Ki te whakanui, I te kaupapa o tēnēi hui whaka hirahira
By your presence you have fulfilled the purpose of this meeting / gathering

Nō- rēi- rā,
So therefore.

Tēnā koutou, katoa
Greetings to you all.

Warm acknowledgments to Councillors Cook and Eagle.

Importance of Neighbours Day

All over Aotearoa / New Zealand, neighbours are gathering together to meet, to get to know, to discuss and to celebrate Good Neighbours Day and I'm delighted to be here to open the very first City Housing Tenant Summit on Neighbours Day 2012.

Last Friday the neighbours in part of our street came round for Fish and chips. I met our newest neighbour - a handsome young male with beautiful brown eyes - an eight week old puppy!

Yesterday I met people on Lyall Bay beach through a "meet up", later today I visit Aro Valley Fair and teh Soup Kitchen's Open Day and tomorrow I go to a "picnic and plant" Neighbours Day event in Newlands. This must be the most neighbourly capital on Earth. But not everyone knows their neighbours and people can still feel very alone. Neighbours Day can help change that!

It is a unique opportunity to recognise that Neighbourliness is the foundation of a healthy community. Being a good neighbour can mean many things from a nod and a wave, a kind word, doing something helpful or responding to those who need your help in emergency.

In the immediate response to the Christchurch earthquakes, residents checked up on their neighbours, community groups removed liquefaction and distributed supplies where they were needed. They found that the more connected they were to their neighbours the more likely they were to get help when they needed it. I know this would also happen here in Wellington and in City Housing. Having good neighbours is great every day, not just after a disaster.

The Wellington Zoo is a great example of being a good neighbour. Since the locals in Newtown get woken up by the gibbons and hear the calls of the chimpanzees, the zoo invites all its neighbours in once a year for free - whether they can afford the entry or not.

I'd like to acknowledge all the tenants of City Housing that have made the effort today to come and celebrate this event with each other. I also would like to pay tribute to the tenant leaders within City Housing who through their goodwill, hard work and voluntary contributions make their communities safer, resilient and vibrant places to live where people feel cared for and included. They do this through their roles as fire wardens, Good Neighbours, W.H.A.T representatives, computer hub volunteers, community room co-ordinators, community garden facilitators and activity co-ordinators.

City Housing tenants have a real opportunity to reach out to each other, make new contacts, build new networks and celebrate neighbours day, every day. I grew up in a Council flat in a five story building where it wasn't always easy to get to know the other people so I know we need to make some special efforts when we live in apartments and don't lean over the garden fence to chat. That's what Neighbours Day is about.

I'd like you to enjoy the day, introduce yourself to someone new, make new friends and learn something new. And remember there are people who are too shy to come to an event like this. Take time to say hello, to offer a cup of tea or say why don't you come down to the library or go for a walk or just say 'hi'.

I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our Community Action Team, the presenters today and particularly the tenant planning committee who helped to plan this event who demonstrate daily what it means to be a good neighbour.

Enjoy Neighbours Day!

Waiata - TUKUA ATU RĀ (sung by Billie Tait-Jones)

Tukua atu rā
Te reo pōhirihiri atu
O te iwi Māori
E tū nei
Kimi kau ana mātou
I te mea ngaro
I waihotia
E ngā mātua

Tihei!
Mauri ora

Let the voice of welcome
Issue forth
From the Māori people
Standing here.
As we continue in our search
For 'perfection'
A challenge left to us
By our ancestors / forebears

The speech delivered may vary from this text.