17 March 2021
Neighbours Day Aotearoa runs from March 20 – 30, 2021. It is an annual, nationwide event designed to foster whanaungatanga (connection) and manaakitanga (support and kindness) to make our neighbourhoods safer, more resilient, and all-round happier places to be.
The Rotorua community connected with and checked in on our neighbours during the COVID-19 lockdown last year. Neighbours Day Aotearoa is an opportunity to celebrate those connections and continue the momentum, particularly as we move up and down Alert Levels.
This year's theme is The Great Plant Swap and there are loads of ways to get involved. You could:
- swap seeds with a neighbour
- take some flowers to a neighbour
- organise a produce swap
- share garden tips or recipes for food in season
A plant swap will be held at Rotorua Library from 20 – 30 March. Simply bring along your unwanted house plants or cuttings and exchange them for a different plant, at any time, during library opening hours. This initiative is being organised by Kaitlyn Lamb, a John Paul College student, environmentalist and keen gardener.
Of course, your Neighbours Day event doesn’t need to be big, or even related to plants! Maybe it’s giving someone a smile in your street, or writing a short note of appreciation and leaving it in a neighbour’s letterbox. Whatever you do, make sure you stick to the COVID-19 Alert Level guidelines.
To celebrate Neighbours Day, the awesome team at the Mokoia Community Association will be holding a kai drive on Saturday 27 March. A free community bbq will be taking place in Puketāwhero Park from 10am to 2pm, and there’ll be a food drive happening in the Eastside streets at the same time, collecting non-perishable food items for those in need. For more info, visit Mokoia Community Association on Facebook.
Rotorua Lakes Council has created a portal showing all the community gardens that can be accessed on Council land. This online directory will launch during Neighbours Day so keep an eye out for more information.
If you’re wanting to organise something for your own neighbourhood, you’ll find lots of inspiration at www.neighboursday.org.nz and at the Neighbours Day Aotearoa Facebook page.