March 18-27 marked Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2022, an annual event encouraging community building across New Zealand by celebrating the connection that happens across the fence, down the street or over a cuppa.
Now in its thirteenth year, Neighbours Day Aotearoa started with the belief that connection with our neighbours makes our community more friendly, strong and resilient - enhancing the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and the wider community. The theme for 2022 was connecting over kai – growing, sharing and eating food together – and we made “Kai Connections” through a number of socially-distanced activities.
QLDC and Community Networks/LINK organised a series of Garden and Gather drop-in sessions in the garden at the Wānaka Recreation Centre, which were a great success. Children enjoyed painting their own planter boxes to take home along with seed raising mix and seeds to grow their very own garden; bee hotels were built by young and old; and Dr Compost shared his knowledge of home-composting. We also collated seasonal recipes from local café favourites. It’s not too late to give them a try! Head to https://link.org.nz/neighboursday2022/.
Kai-sharing at the Community Produce Stands around the Upper Clutha (located at the Wānaka Community Hub, Wānaka Recreation Centre, Wānaka Wastebusters, Lake Hāwea Community Centre and Sherwin Avenue in Albert Town) is, of course, welcome all year-round.
It’s especially important that we look after ourselves and others just now. Please continue to check on your neighbours who may be self-isolating and see if they need any support – whether that’s a chat, a delivery of supplies, or some produce from your garden.