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Christchurch City Council Media Release 14 March 2002

Christchurch City’s Neighbourhood Week goes nationwide

It started in 1997 at the Christchurch City Council’s Shirley-Papanui Community Board, with a discussion about chatting over the fences and a look at how society had changed in the last 30 years. A tiny pilot project funded by that community board caught on, and over the next four years Neighbourhood Week was hosted all over Christchurch by each of the city’s six community board.

Small grants were given out to neighbours and groups. “They provide the sizzle. We provided the sausages,” says Neighbourhood Week Chair, Cr Sue Wells. Photographs taken in the last week of October each year show gatherings in streets and parks all around the city, and the feedback has been excellent.

So good in fact that the idea has been adopted by Neighbourhood Support New Zealand, and in 2002 Neighbourhood Week will be promoted all around the country.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the idea has been picked up. It’s incredibly exciting for us to think that the work we’ve done in the last four years is going to help to make a difference in communities all around New Zealand,” Cr Wells says.

In Christchurch this year Neighbourhood Week runs from October 26 to November 1 and the Neighbourhood Week Committee is encouraging neighbouring councils to get on board, with representatives from Banks Peninsula, Selwyn and Waimakiriri being invited to next month’s meeting.

“Communities begin at home, whether they’re in Opawa or Otara,” says Cr Wells. “Together with Neighbourhood Support New Zealand, that’s a message we’re going to deliver even wider this year.”

For more information: Contact Christchurch City Councillor Sue Wells, Chair of the Neighbourhood Week Committee, on 332 1611 or 027 229 0505.
Yvonne Palmer, Chair Canterbury Neighbourhood Support and Board Member Neighbourhood Support NZ, on 025 229 5049.
Pat Creasey, Coordinator Canterbury Neighbourhood Support 372-8007.

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