Pancake battle to bring community together
The Awapuni community will by exchanging flying pancakes with each other to bring its people closer together, and Palmerston North City Council and police are getting behind it.
The community is working on a play based on the children's book Pancake Attack! by Dawn McMillan. The story follows a talented pancake maker who ends up losing his cool and throws pancakes at a police officer.
Organisers are keen to get the police involved for the final act. The play is part of a wider project that will culminate in an Awesome Awapuni day to be held at the racecourse. It is being put together by a committee drawn from community organisations, schools and kindergartens, police and council.
Council city safety officer Jimmy Ballantyne said the project started with an idea from the community and quickly snowballed.
They wanted to organise an event that would celebrate the community around Alexander Park. "I think strong communities are healthier all round," Mr Ballantyne said.
"There's a huge number of reasons that knowing your neighbours, knowing your community, benefits you. That's what they want, so that's what we're doing."
Mr Ballantyne said there was s concern that school rolls in the area were dropping off and that the perception of Awapuni was unjustly negative.
"They just wanted to show there were good people there doing great things."
The day will also feature a bouncy castle, stalls and activities.
He said the community was keen to make events like this a regular occurrence.
"There's a real hunger out there from the people in the community to do these sort of things," he said.
"It's not just because it's great fun but also because it strengthens these communities and makes them more resilient to the adversities that life is chucking at us at the moment."
Palmerston North area commander Acting Inspector Brett Calkin said police supported the plan and were keen to see the neighbourhood flourish.
"I have a personal interest in Awapuni because I grew up there and I think it's a great community . . . it's close to my heart," he said.
"We want to build greater resilience in the community."
He said bringing the community together would have a flow-on effect in reducing crime.
"Stronger communities don't tend to suffer so much from crime," he said.
"We want to see this sort of project go on in every single neighbourhood."
The Awesome Awapuni day will be held on October 27.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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