For Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa 2018 Bridget Percy, a Community Development Worker for New Zealand Red Cross in Wairarapa, organised a series of five morning teas through the Wairarapa Care Network and Age Concern.

Neighbourhood Support came along to share their messages around the importance of community connectedness, and Jane Mills from the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office spoke about personal disaster preparedness.

New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and Wellington Free Ambulance also attended to share important safety messages.

Participants were offered a Red Cross ‘communi-tea’ bag and some plant seeds to share with their neighbours and help ‘grow’ resilient neighbourhoods together.

They were encouraged to share contact details with their neighbours, and were given a document holder to store important papers for safekeeping in the event of an evacuation.

Communities are always the first responders during an emergency, and research shows better connected communities are more resilient and recover faster after a disaster.

Attendees were encouraged to reach out to their neighbours, share a cup of tea and contact details, as well as discuss how their community could prepare for an emergency.

Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa may have passed, but it’s never too late to kickstart your community connections