When you're connected to your community, good things happen, and in a small town like Kaitaia, knowing your neighbours and celebrating your neighbourhood can have many positive knock-on effects.
That was the philosophy behind Shine on Kaitaia's first Know Your Neighbours Day in Allen Bell Drive. About 200 people accepted the opportunity to mix, mingle, get to know each other and enjoy themselves.
It was a warm day, and the sounds from local DJ Damian Rice attracted many people to the reserve, the programme including a street versus street basketball competition, bouncy castles, a variety of lawn games and face-painting for the young and not so young, provided by Debbie Cloete.
Enthusiastic Youth Navigators from Shine On Kaitaia MCd the event, organised the basketball tournament and made popcorn to keep the crowds sustained.
"Shine On Kaitaia's vision was of young people leading positive events for the betterment of the community, while building meaningful relationships and creating social cohesion and that was achieved judging by the happy faces and great atmosphere on the day," Micah Tawhara said.
The day was supported by Building Safer Communities, which sizzled hundreds of sausages and lashings of onions, supplied by Blue Light charities, which, along with contributions from local whānau, made sure everyone was fed well.
"Grandparents, parents and kids alike were smiling as they bonded over being outside together for the day and having a chance for social networking," Micah added.
"Many hands made the day flow well, and the LJ Hooker gazebo provided much appreciated shelter from the sun, and the occasional shower. Kaitaia Pak'nSave kindly supplied prizes for winners of the basketball competition and the lawn games, which were cleverly created and overseen by Sadie and the local team members from the Ministry of Social Development.
"This was the first Know Your Neighbours Day event run by Shine on Kaitaia, and we hope more will follow. Shine on is happy to help other neighbourhoods who would like a similar event in their area, as we understand that many people today recognise they are isolated from their neighbours, yet are unsure what to do about it."
■Anyone who was interested in having a Know Your Neighbours Day in their area, or being part of the Shine on Kaitaia team as a Youth Navigator or volunteer at future positive local events, is welcome to make contact via its Facebook page or to email firstname.lastname@example.org