Neighbours Aotearoa (formerly Neighbours Day Aotearoa) is a community development initiative dedicated to growing, connecting and strengthening neighbourhoods across the country. It is a place-based and local approach – neighbours linking up in their local communities. Each year in March we encourage everybody to do something small - or large! - that lets you know a neighbour that bit better.
From humble beginnings in 2009, Neighbours Aotearoa has evolved and grown - initially being just one day, it then expanded to ten. 2023 will see the initiative span the entire month of March. Our vision is to see locally driven year-round activities, participation and organising that makes longer-term and more deeply ingrained changes to the social fabric of Aotearoa.
We want neighbourhoods to have the ability to act, shape, and influence the things that matter to them. Each year, we focus on March to encourage streets, apartment blocks, rural communities, neighbourhoods, and suburbs to connect, share and celebrate. Because, we know: When we connect with our Neighbours good things happen. Ka tūhonohono te hapori, ka puta ngā hua.
We acknowledge te reo Māori as one of the official languages of Aotearoa; the word Aotearoa is a word that originally was used to describe our beautiful country. Unlike English, Aotearoa is the only place in the world where we can speak te reo Māori and we want to be a part of keeping te reo Māori alive and relevant.
The two lines represent Ranginui and Papatūānuku, the sky father and the earth mother, who together bring balance and growth to all of us who exist between them.
The points along each line represent the nine whetū of Matariki. They travel across the sky each June/July and represent a time of celebration and renewal for us.
The koru are taken from the original Neighbours Day Aotearoa logo. Koru represent growth. By pointing the two inwards towards one another, they illustrate reciprocity and sharing.