Nau mai, haere mai. On 1 October, Housing New Zealand, HLC and KiwiBuild together became Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

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A nation gets neighbourly

5 April 2019

From all around the country, Housing New Zealand residents have been getting to know one another by celebrating Neighbours Day.

Stacey and Bethany

For Stacey and her daughter Bethany, Neighbours Day festivities were a chance to catch up with some familiar faces.

Stacey is a Tenancy Manager in Mosgiel and got stuck in with organisers from the local community board to help neighbours get to know each other.

"Bethany’s become familiar with a few of the other tenants and their children because of coming to other things, so it’s quite nice and a lot of tenants love seeing that side," Stacey said.

Part of the our effort at the event was to run a halal sausage sizzle to cater for the area’s Syrian refugee community. Meeting our families had meant Bethany was quickly “developing that awareness of other cultures,” Stacey said.

Gill Brown, Southern Area Manager, said about 100 people attended throughout the day.

There are about 230 of our homes in the area and attendees got to learn more about organisations like police, Fire and Emergency NZ, Civil Defence and Red Cross.

"Any time that we can be part of an event where it shows that the whole community is working together, that’s got to be a bonus," Gill said.

In Wellington, adults and children painted and planted pots.

While our tenants in Mosgiel organised face painting and a colouring competition, the Mascot Street pensioner complex at the other end of the country in Auckland celebrated in a different way with a simple gathering.

Tenants Annie and Wiki were keen to get everyone together so they could get to know each other better.

Senior Tenancy Manager Julianne, who has managed the complex for several years, said it was the first time some of the residents had met each other.

"When I took over this complex there were a lot of issues, predominantly around parking," she said.

"Having the residents come together like this provides an excellent opportunity for them to get to know one another."

Down in Wellington, children and adults painted "pots of paradise" and planted herbs and other greenery at the Te Māra complex in Mount Cook.

Community Development Manager Lyn Hollands said their Neighbours Day festivities were important to bring the community together after we took over management of the 104 units late last year.

No RSVP was required, so the team was pleasantly surprised to see about 50 people turn up on the day.

"We even had a neighbour who didn’t live at Te Māra bring some toys over for children to play with," Lyn said.

"We thought it was just incredible that she did that."

Front, L-R: Tenancy Mangers Maree, Anna, Iloga, Atama. Second row: Pelesia, Francis, STM – Julianne, Gutu, Annie, Miss Jeanette

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