Tawa sizzles up for Neighbours' Day

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 11:33 26/02/2013
26-KPN-tawaWEB
Andrea O'Neil
TAWA TOGETHERNESS: Tawa held more than 50 street barbecues for last year’s Neighbours’ Day, a number Community Board chairman Malcolm Sparrow hopes to best this March.

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Tawa proved to be the most neighbourly suburb in Wellington last March, and is hoping to equal its record this Neighbours' Day.

More than 50 Tawa streets held barbecues on last year's inaugural March 24 Neighbours' Day, part of a national initiative to create stronger networks among neighbours. By contrast, Wellington's eastern suburbs only registered six barbecues, and the southern and western suburbs had three and four respectively.

There's a strong sense of community in Tawa, says Malcolm Sparrow, chairman of the Tawa Community Board.

Many people who had wanted to meet their neighbours found Neighbours' Day 2012 a good excuse to put plans into action, he says.

"Many people thought about it previously but never got around to it and this was the catalyst."

Mr Sparrow's own street, Brasenose Pl, held a barbecue for Neighbours' Day, then set up an email list and met several more times around the grill plate or for fish and chips nights, he says.

The ideal outcome of Neighbours' Day is for streets to create a list of which skills and resources each neighbour has, which could come in handy in an emergency, Mr Sparrow says.

Some streets have noted which neighbour has a generator, and who is a plumber or doctor, for example.

"It's all about building a community before you need one, which very much came out of Christchurch," he says.

Mr Sparrow encourages streets to register its barbecues with the community board so it can deliver a street sign, balloons and name tags.

Neighbours' Day is March 23 this year, but barbecue events can be held any time during the month.

For tips on street barbecues and registration: www.tawalink.com/ neighbours.html.

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