Kai Connections: coming together over food for neighbours day Aotearoa 2022

Neighbours Day Aotearoa returns for another year of community-led activities, encouraging New Zealanders across the motu to connect with their neighbours. The ten-day celebration from 18 – 27 March sees people bringing their neighbours together in meaningful ways through small gatherings, special events or a shared sentiment.

2022’s theme, Kai Connections, is all about bringing people together over kai – whether it’s growing, sharing, or eating. Food brings people together in so many ways in Aotearoa, and this year Neighbours Day Aotearoa is a celebration of those food-based connections: supporting neighbours and communities to come together to promote wellbeing, resilience, inclusion and empowerment through kai.

Registrations are open on the Neighbours Day Aotearoa website and people nationwide are invited to register their ideas for community gatherings, events, or simple acts of kindness.

Whether it’s something small like sharing homemade meals or recipes, to something a bit bigger like building a community garden or pantry, the possibilities for connections are endless.  Handy home cooks who are whipping up their latest batch of preserves can get in touch with Neighbours Day to request their own Neighbours Day jar labels so they can share their pickles and jams with their neighbours.

With 15 community activators working up and down the country to spread the word and encourage involvement, events have already started rolling in.

At a time when so many New Zealanders are finding themselves isolating at home, it’s a great time to reach out to your neighbours and offer them some friendly support.

Whether this is dropping off a home-cooked meal, offering to pick up some essential groceries, or just a friendly check-in text message, no neighbourly connection is too small and your community spirit will mean a lot!

Neighbours Day Aotearoa was first celebrated in 2009, and is a collaborative campaign organised and supported by LifewiseInspiring CommunitiesChristchurch Methodist MissionNew Zealand Red CrossNeighbourhood Support New ZealandKāinga Ora and Auckland Council.

The kaupapa of Neighbours Day Aotearoa encourages people to get to know their neighbours better.

13 years on from the first events, it is more important than ever for local communities to connect in a safe and meaningful way.

Previous years have seen thousands of neighbours, communities, organisations, local government and businesses get involved in bringing neighbours together.

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