Locals strengthen their neighbourhood connections
Photo caption: From left to right, Karl and Beryl Farrell with neighbour Mishy Viera and their mokopuna meet to plan their Neighbours Day event.
‘Neighbours Day’ Aotearoa is a week-long national campaign with the aim of turning strangers into neighbours and streets into neighbourhoods. Knowing your neighbours strengthens community ties, and creates healthier, safer and more resilient communities.
For Miriona Grove residents in Paekākāriki, it’s a great opportunity to throw a street party to celebrate Beryl and Karl Farrell’s 40th wedding anniversary, in the street named after his grandmother. Miriona Utu Budge (née Mira) moved there from near the Surf Club in the early 1950’s, and being tangata whenua (Ngāti Haumia ki Paekākāriki) the street was gifted with her name.
Karl grew up there and five generations of their hapū have attended local Paekākāriki School.
“This is the fourth Neighbours Day event we’ve had here in Miriona Grove. For us it’s about celebrating our long connection to this area and our whakapapa to Paekākāriki. We’re looking forward to including our neighbours in this tāhuhu kōrero (history) and it’s going to be an awesome party for our street,” says Mr Farrell.
Neighbours Day events can run anytime between Friday 27 March to Sunday 5 April - the most common format is to host an 'Over the Fence Cuppa’ event.
'Over the Fence Cuppas' are small get-togethers in local neighbourhoods organised by neighbours within those communities. Organising a cuppa event is easy and a great way to get to know your neighbours better.
Kāpiti Coast District Council Connected Communities Manager Tania Parata says Neighbours Day Aotearoa is the perfect way to take that first step in getting to know your neighbours better, or to renew relationships you've already created.
“These events are a great way to connect and the format of them is completely up to the organiser. In the past we’ve seen some really inventive get-togethers, like casual cuppas on berms, in gardens or even at local parks and beaches. Neighbourhoods might choose a theme and plan some fun activities like swapping home grown produce, getting creative with chalk on the footpath, or simply eat cake and chat,” says Ms. Parata.
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is supporting locals who host by providing resources. To receive a party pack you can register your event by 20 March by emailing Neighbours.Day@kapiticoast.govt.nz or registering online at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/neighboursday.