Lisa and Dan lived in an apartment in Wellington City and they didn’t know anyone in the building. This was really difficult in the first lockdown when everyone was isolating and there was no connection at all. When they moved to a street in Lower Hutt later in 2020 they decided to have a BBQ and invited their neighbours to get to know them. This led to a string of other events that the residents in the street enjoyed creating together, from Halloween celebrations to an Easter egg hunt this upcoming Easter. In 3 years time they got to know most of their neighbours. They enjoy how people look out for each other and how they share veges from their garden. Lisa’s zucchini plants were not pulling through this Summer, but a neighbour brought her the excess from their thriving zucchini plant. “This was such a great gift to receive!” Lisa sees the value of getting to know each other and knowing that you have support in your street. It has increased a sense of safety. There have been burglary issues that got solved easier because camera footage was shared with the police. The residents have set up a Facebook group that has proven to be very useful for most, but flyers are being dropped in letterboxes for the people who do not join Facebook. This includes translation for Cantonese/Mandarin speaking neighbours. There is a grass reserve behind the street that has been great for play for the little kids. One neighbour once got a selection of large games from the Toy Library and everyone got together to enjoy a fun afternoon. At the moment Lisa is talking to the council to start a Community Garden on a part of the grass area close to their street, it will be great to have a shared garden to grow food. And maybe Seeds to Feeds can help with some seedlings in Spring. Lisa is sharing with us that her street has 34 houses, around 85 people between 20-65 years old and lots of young kids primary school age and younger. She says she feels way more connected to her street and the people around her since her neighbours and herself have been teaming up on building a welcoming community together!

Look at these wonderful jars of plum jelly made by Rose for her neighbourhood. Her neighbours in Raglan were very lucky!

Heather organised a 'Progressive Picnic' for her neighbours in Tāmaki Makaurau. The aim was to to reconnect with your neighbourhood in a safe, fun, and inclusive way. Everyone packed a picnic, their favourite chair or blanket and got to socialise with their neighbours.

Brigid from Morningside, Whangārei muralled her house and the wall of her corner store with the aim to lift spirits in her neighbourhood. She also runs the local Pātaka Kai and Little Free Library in her area and her next project is to install a community noticeboard.

Paula and her neighbours got together to learn to harvest kūmara.

“We plan to teach others how to grow their own and create a delicious meal with it by packaging it up as a gift, with info about our community garden space with a welcome to participate invitation.” - Paula

Kate from Ashburton organised a multicultural food festival for Neighbours Day Aotearoa.

“Hakatere Marae was a great venue and most people were there for the first time. Someone ran a Neighbours Day bingo which was enjoyed by people of all ages. The Pinata was the biggest hit with the kids!” - Kate

Forrest Hill residents had a Neighbours Aotearoa plant swap

Braving the tropical Southland weather to set up this awesome pātaka kai outside Aurora College in Invercargill.