People enjoy living in good neighbourhoods. How do you get to know your neighbours? What do you do that contributes to making the neighbourhood a great place to live, work and play? Here are some ideas about what makes our neighbourhood tick.
The teenage view of good neighbours
“People are approachable and friendly. When driving by people say 'Hi'.. It’s about just letting each other know what’s happening. It’s good.” (18 year old)
“I walk up to the bus stop and it’s very safe. You know it feels safe. It’s probably because it’s clear and you can see all around you. It’s really fun walking to school. My next door neighbour and I go to school together. It has a nice atmosphere here. The Café’ is cool. It’s a treat to go there once in a while. The people are nice.” (14 year old)
Twelves and under view of good neighbour
“The adults wave to me or say 'Hello' when they see me.”
“One day when it started raining hard and I was walking home from school, the neighbours gave me a lift home.”
“I can call in at Twigland’s on the way home from school and say hello to Twigs the cat.”
“I know all the other kids in the neighbourhood even if I don’t hang out with them.”
“I love it when I can pick plums off the neighbours tree.”
“I like it when Barbara lets me come and visit her and pat her cats and when Geoff and Jan were living over the road they used to let me take their dogs for walks.” (10 year old)
“When I was going on holiday the neighbours gave me $5 to spend. I like it when the teachers wave to me when they drive past.” (12 year old)
“Max let us take his horse home to our place for the weekend.”
Adults being neighbourly in Glenside.
“It’s a beautiful place here. People are friendly and it’s safe. I moved to New Zealand from a different country and have lived in different places in New Zealand but Glenside has been the most friendly. When I moved here there was a note welcoming me from Jan and then the neighbours called over to meet me. I don’t celebrate Christmas and people didn’t even know me but at Christmas time they invited me over.” (Sarah)
Here’s what the adults are doing in Glenside…
Share some baking.
Meet and greet new neighbours.
Invite neighbours over for a visit.
Take a hot meal to someone living on their own.
Pick up rubbish blown about outside the property.
Invite the neighbours kids over to play with your kids.
Wave to neighbours, say hello when you see them out and about.
Offer a lift to town for people who are unable to drive or don’t have a car.
Share plant cuttings from the garden with a gardener in the neighbourhood.
At Christmas time, leave a small gift for the NZ Post or Dominion Post driver.
When vegetables or fruit are plentiful in the garden, share some with a neighbour.
When neighbours are away, clear their mail, feed their pets, keep an eye on their home.
Things people do that upset the neighbours
Garden waste and neighbours
Put your garden waste in a compost heap or take it to the landfill. Don’t throw lawnmower clippings and weeds into the stream or on the stream bank. Throwing garden waste in the stream upsets people next door and further downstream.
This is because weeds on streambanks fall into the stream, or get washed into the stream during rainfall. They can block the stream causing water to erode the neighbours stream bank. Weeds washed downstream attach themselves to the neighbours stream bank and grow. Weeds get washed out into the Porirua harbour and harm the natural bio-diversity of the Porirua estuary.
Be friendly to the eels, don’t kill them.
Killing eels is like killing a pet and upsets the neighbours. Eels are special to Glenside and some have been living here for nearly 100 years. Eels don’t breed until they are 70 to 100 years old. (You can tell the age of an eel by it’s length. One centimetre represents about one year of an eel life). Eels that trust you can be hand fed.
Keep to your part of the stream.
The stream is privately owned in many places. Don’t alarm your neighbours by walking along the stream on their property.
Police advice on being neighbourly
The NZ Police website has a wide range of useful information you can refer to. Look here for advice about a range of safety issues including disputes over boundary fences, neighbours trees and barking dogs.