What is Neighbours Day?
The kaupapa of Neighbours Day Aotearoa is to encourage all of us to connect with our neighbours and communities. It’s not about big events, it’s about celebrating the regular day-to-day connections we make that create communities that we all can belong to.
Why is it important?
Each of us contributes to a strong neighbourhood. Isolation is an increasing challenge in New Zealand’s communities. Fostering a sense of Whanaungatanga and Manākitanga for ourselves and our neighbours makes the places we live safer, more resilient, and all-round happier places to be.
Looking out for and supporting one another promotes trust and helps create safer neighbourhoods.
We can be better prepared for emergencies and recover more quickly when we know our neighbours and can ask for, as well as offer, help.
Connecting with others in our community creates a sense of belonging and inclusion which in turn makes up happier and healthier.
How can I get involved?
Strong neighbourhoods depend on each of us to show small and big gestures of kindness and care to each other. If you’re new to your neighbourhood and not sure where to get started, check out the actions below. If you’ve lived in your neighbourhood for a while, try connecting in the new people in your area.
- Introduce yourself. A wave over the fence, a shared smile at the letterbox, hold the elevator, it’s that simple. Drop a contact card in your neighbours’ mailbox telling them who you are and how to get in touch.
- Join a Neighbourhood Support Group (check neighbourhoodsupport.org.nz to get started).
Contact Card (938KB PDF)
- Offer to share fruit and veggies from the garden, or other household goods in surplus (do ensure everything is washed after being handled).
- Set up a Facebook or WhatsApp group for your street or building
- Share aroha and fun stories
Prepare and support:
- Exchange contact details with your neighbours
- Offer support for neighbours
- Create an Emergency Plan for your household and neighbourhood
- Make a list of shared resources with your neighbours – what skills and resources can you pool together to support each other?
Support Card (329KB PDF)
Wellington City Council Resources for neighbourhoods
If you want more ideas, or want help connecting your neighbourhood, reach out to your local Community Centre. The friendly staff can help you work through how to get started, and there are lots of helpful Neighbourhood Resources available.
Keep working at it. It might take a lot of kindness, friendly waves, and invitations, but your work together with your neighbours can lead to great things for all of you.
Here are some simple gestures to make your neighbour's day
Wellington has some great neighbours! See what some of them had to say about the difference knowing their neighbours makes.