Mayors emphasise neighbourliness

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong, farmer Steven Clarke and Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks.
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong, farmer Steven Clarke and Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks.

Being neighbourly is something Southlanders are well known for and this year Southland District mayor Gary Tong and Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks are encouraging people to get to know their neighbours.

This month, the pair met at Steven Clarke's Brydone dairy farm which straddles the two districts to promote the upcoming Neighbours Day Aotearoa, which is this weekend.

Neighbours Day is about turning strangers into neighbours and streets into neighbourhoods.

Mr Tong said we were known for being a friendly lot down south but asked how well we knew the people who lived on our street. 

''Knowing your neighbours builds a stronger community,'' he said. 

This is the first time Mr Tong and Mr Hicks as well as the councils have recognised Neighbours Day but believe it will strengthen the districts' communities.

Mr Hicks said communities were about everyone connecting which is what being a neighbour was all about.

''I believe we do well on all levels in the south. It is great to be able to celebrate something we often take for granted and I encourage everyone to do the same''.

Both mayors agreed celebrating the day was worthwhile.

After meeting at Mr Clarke's property, Mr Tong headed to Wyndham to catch up with the community.

More information is available on Neighbours Day Aotearoa at neighboursday.org.nz.

The Southland Times