This year’s Neighbours’ Day celebration in Kāpiti focuses on community spirit, resilience, sustainable living and cultural diversity.
The annual event supporting neighbours to connect with their community is being celebrated again in Kāpiti over the weekend of 19 and 20 March.
Two special events will be taking place in the Kāpiti district. Residents are encouraged to register and organise an ‘Over the Fence Cuppa’ and have get-together with others in their neighbourhood as well as come along an International Cultural Gathering at the Community Centre in Paraparaumu.
This year Neighbours Day Aotearoa coincides with Race Relations day, to celebrate this the Kāpiti Community Centre is putting on an International Cultural Gathering at the centre on Sunday 20 March from 10.00am – 2.00pm. It is a fantastic opportunity to welcome and celebrate the cultural diversity within our own community.
In all cultures the sharing of food brings people together and this is what this event is all about. Families and individuals are invited to come along with a plate of food from their own culture to contribute to the big shared lunch for all at 1.00pm.
Kapiti Community Centre is providing space at no cost and encouraging groups from different cultures to showcase their culture with displays, demonstrations and shared activities. There will be short performances by different groups in the main hall between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Everyone attending is being encouraged to wear their traditional dress to the event. Local schools are being contacted and the children will be invited to draw international flags on A4 paper that that will be used to make bunting to decorate the community centre.
As well as celebrating the diversity of culture in our district, residents are encouraged to make Neighbours Day an excuse to get to know those across the fence. All residents are invited to register for the Over The Fence Cuppa.
Mayor Ross Church says Neighbours’ Day is more than just meeting people living nearby. It is an opportunity to foster community spirit and build community resilience. “Getting to know each other is the first step in creating resilient communities,” he says.
“After the severe weather events we had in Kāpiti last year and another earthquake in Christchurch recently, it highlights the importance of knowing who lives close by.”
“Building good neighbour relationships is a powerful way to create thriving, caring communities.”
There are new elements on offer through this year’s ‘Cuppa’ events, including vouchers for Council’s green services.
Every neighbourhood that signs up will receive a goodie pack to get the event started and are also able to opt in for further sustainability-focussed resources and activity ideas.
“There are many simple ways for people to be more resourceful and lessen their environmental impact, especially when working in groups,” the mayor says.
“Most of these measures are fun, make everyday life easier and ultimately save money and time.”
The Joines family, who took part in event last year, are already making plans for this year’s celebrations.
Warren Joines says the family will be celebrating Neighbours’ Day at their Cypress Grove home by inviting neighbours for a swim and a round of backyard cricket.
"It's great to get together and have a laugh – and last year my daughter Sophie even got a job out of it,” he says.
For more information on how to connect with your neighbours visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/neighbours-day.