Over the Fence Cuppa celebrates its 10th year in New Zealand
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is bringing neighbourhoods together in Kāpiti, by encouraging residents to host Over the Fence Cuppas for the tenth year. It’s all about getting to know your neighbours better - helping to create stronger, happier, safer, and more resilient communities.
Each year Otaihanga resident Anna Heino-Amaya hosts an Over the Fence Cuppa to celebrate Neighbours Day. She invites 50 local residents to the Otaihanga Boating Club to meet, share a picnic, and welcome new neighbours.
Ms Heino-Amaya’s event started off small, with a few neighbours meeting on the grassy verge at the end of the street for a shared morning tea. With the help of a friend, Ms Heino-Amaya started knocking on neighbours’ doors to invite them along. Inviting people in-person made a difference, says Ms Heino-Amaya.
After the first year’s success, Ms Heino-Amaya and the other local playgroup parents decided to host an even bigger event.
“Otaihanga is a really special place, it’s very friendly. So we thought, let’s invite everybody, and we did,” Ms Heino-Amaya said.
Spending time with neighbours is an great way to connect different networks in a community – young families meet long-time residents and both welcome new neighbours into the community. Getting together helps the community realise how many single or older people might need help in an emergency.
“It’s been really helpful having the Council providing a host pack, seeds, bubbles, loaning us lawn games and more. It’s nice to have the support – it’s not all on the host to organise everything. Just start small, and try to invite at least one person you don’t know. It’s not that hard actually!” Ms Heino-Amaya said.
For more information and to register your interest in hosting an Over the Fence Cuppa in your neighbourhood, visit: www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/neighboursday