Tim Costley, National's candidate for Ōtaki has been changing tack lately.

He's turned from campaigning to organising the community to get people ready to help out neighbours. They take responsibility for a small section of their street and coordinate support, such as shopping for essentials for elderly neighbours.

"This project is just about joining those dots, and helping those around us.

If we all do just a little bit, together we can make a huge difference, " he said.

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He has a letter ready to print off and distribute to neighbours with contact details, so people know who to turn to. Once replies are in people can decide to form small groups using Facebook, Whatsapp or an occasional letter drop to stay in touch.

"Whatever suits your community."

The flier you can distribute to coordinate your street.
The flier you can distribute to coordinate your street.

"If you can help, and are willing to drop a letter to a few houses near you and coordinate your local group of residents, please fill in a form, and we'll send you a draft letter ready to print and drop off, as well as share with you stories of what other people are doing and finding really helpful.

"We are receiving new information about the virus every day with updates on how best to protect yourself. Check covid19.govt.nz/ for regular updates on how to protect yourself and reduce the spread.

"And if you or anyone you know are worried and need to talk to a trained counsellor, free call/text 1737," Costley said.

The initial response has been fantastic, he said. In one day 25 streets were covered.

"Some people volunteer to organise a bit of a street, some take the whole street."

He said he continues to develop online resources and wants to tie in as many as possible existing support groups.

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"Community spirit is what we need most now and this is a way to give support and to get to know your neighbours.

More information on the project see: timcostley.national.org.nz/coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR24GqDvIV17JGM5YxPnMOjqXLxhKtAmsiRHFtnQ_KpoGMDErCqsX13siMY