Neighbours' Weekend in Tawa

Neighbours' Weekend in Tawa - March 2016

Neighbours' Weekend in Tawa from 2012 onwards has been very successful with 45-50 neighbourhood gatherings taking place each year on either the "official weekend" in late March or the weekends immediately before.

As stated by the Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown, "... hats-off to Tawa in particular. Their enthusiasm is really impressive." In total, between 1000-1200 Tawa people have taken part in the various street gatherings each year, mostly barbecues but with the occasional afternoon tea or pot luck meal thrown in.

The concept has been driven locally by the Tawa Community Board with support from the Tawa Lions Club and the Tawa Residents' Association. "It's all about building a community before you need one" and "Making your street a better place to live in."

The feedback we have received has been very encouraging, with a big number talking about repeating the exercise further down the track. And other comments like "Some who have been living around here for decades met for the first time ..." and "We are all keen to keep the neighbourly spirit alive ..." are what makes it all worthwhile.


Three simple steps to running a barbecue in your street:

1. Get a couple of neighbours to agree to join you for a barbecue at the end of the cul-de-sac or in your front yard (or wherever) on an agreed date, preferably one weekend in March 2016. That way there'll be at least three lots of neighbours sharing a barbecue together.

2. Invite the others in the street (or your part of the street) either in person or with flyers into letterboxes. More than likely a good number will want to join you. Most people like the idea of getting to know their neighbours better.

Let them know there will be one or two barbecues available but that everyone needs to bring and cook their own food, as well as bring their own drinks and seating. Possibly share desserts. Make it easy for yourself, the organiser!

3. You could also attach an A3-size promotional sign to a power pole in your street 12-20 days before the event. If you're in Tawa, we'll supply you with the sign.

That's the minimum you need to do. If you're happy to put in a little more effort, see the tips below on "Running a street barbecue in Tawa". You could also start a basic list of your neighbours for which, at the actual barbecue, they each supply their own names and contact details. Sample here.


Printing Invitations

Print off invitations (or ask us to print them for you) using any one of these templates: Brasenose invitation or Mexted West invitation or Florio invitation. Put the invitations into the letterboxes of the other houses ideally 16-20 days before the event.


Why get to know your neighbours?

The Neighbours' Day Development Team, charged with organising the "Neighbours' Day Aotearoa" event, received an email from a Christchurch resident highlighting how important neighbour connections are in times of emergencies. The person wrote:

"Take it from a 'disaster survivor' that a knock on the door from a kindly neighbour at 4.35am in the dark after a 7.1 earthquake to check if you have survived can make the difference between thinking you can cope with all of the aftermath or not! I will go to my grave indebted to my wonderful neighbours ... Sadly such community is often only built in response to a threat or a disaster but I encourage everyone to take the initiative and build a community 'before you need one'."

That is precisely what we are endeavouring to do in Tawa .
... and the primary reason for our striving to see as many streets as possible hosting barbecues, afternoon teas or pot luck meals in Tawa in March.


Was your street one of those who took part in 2015?  Check here to see.
Was your street one of those who took part in 2014?  Check here to see.
Was your street one of those who took part in 2013?  Check here to see.
Was your street one of those who took part in 2012?  Check here to see. .

Forms for Neighbours' Day in Tawa (including Registration form):

Running a street barbecue in Tawa - a few tips (Word doc)

Registration form - register with us for the event. We'd like to know exactly what street barbecues are taking place in Tawa over Neighbours' Weekend, and we will supply you with balloons, name tags and a notice/sign for your street.

List of people in your street - for you to complete in your street

Three sample invitations which you can adapt for your street:

     Brasenose invitation

     Mexted West invitation

     Florio invitation


Reports in the media:

"Neighbours take to streets" - CityLife Porirua News

Online reports:

"Tawa Goes All Out for Neighbours' Day" - WCC article

"Wellington suburbs get behind Neighbours' Day" featuring Mexted Tce in Linden
- Dominion Post

"Tawa Residents Right Neighbourly" - The Wellingtonian


Click below to go to the sites mentioned:

Feedback on Neighbourhood Support in Tawa - (TawaLink site)

Brasenose Place barbecue 26.11.11 - (TawaLink site)

Neighbours' Day Aotearoa - the official site

Planning a street get-together - 10 tips on the Neighbours' Day Aotearoa site

Neighbourhood Support - the official site