Talk us through a ‘typical’ day? Is there one?
I work with a variety of different partners including resident associations, religious organisations, and community groups to enable people to socialise. These days most people closely rely on only two-to-four people while others have nobody to rely on at all and are completely isolated.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has seen those numbers get worse, so it’s more important than ever that we work hard to ensure people have other people in their lives, and easy ways to participate.
My team helps provide frameworks, funding, and space for people to get involved in communities. Most of these are organised by Community Centres or our City Libraries as they tend to know the specific communities in their area and what would work best.
Neighbours Day is an example of this mahi and is an annual campaign that helps us promote how and why people need social interaction. This year we had 34 public events.
What's been your favourite community event?
I have two from this year’s Neighbours Day events. A group of young people living together downtown near Cuba Street organised a long table on the street. They managed to get donations from some local companies and invited everyone to a street breakfast.
Another was a Hāngī organised in Newlands by Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi Marae. The group invited the community to come with their neighbours to plant trees, play children’s activities, check out the displays of other community organisations, and enjoy conversation and hāngī meals together.