"Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours."

Central Taranaki is packed full of great neighbours, says Di Gleeson, the Central Taranaki community safety officer for the Safe Community trust says.

Last week, 36 individuals and groups were recognised for being good neighbours, after being nominated by people through a survey sent out by the Safe Community Trust.

All recipients were invited to an awards ceremony last week, to receive their award from Stratford District mayor Neil Volzke.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Neil said he was delighted to be able to present the awards.

"It's really special to be here today. The lockdown taught us the importance of connecting with people and supporting them, and you have all done that in your own way."

He said he feels the community "punches above its weight" when it comes to being neighbourly and congratulated all recipients for their achievements.

He also had words of praise for the Safe Community Trust itself.

"During the lockdown, they put out a newsletter every day and worked really hard making sure people were connected and informed. They put in countless hours and it is really appreciated."

Safe Community Trust chairman, Danny Bates, said the team had worked very hard and very quickly to respond to the Covid-19 situation.

"Just like everyone, we only had 48 hours notice of the lockdown. There was no manual for Covid, we just had to decide what to do and get on with it."

Di and Georgie Cox had worked incredibly hard, he said, getting the work down and supporting the community throughout.

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"They were putting in over 70 hours a week and organised the team to make over 1000 phone calls in 48 hours. It is incredible what they did and how well they did it."

Both Georgie and Di were presented with flowers as a thank you during the ceremony.

Central Taranaki Good Neighbour Award recipients:
Adrianne Cosbrook, Allie and Leon Eager, Allan and Nia Chesswas, Belinda and Peter Martin, Bernie Mallone, Bernice Mitchell, Brian Darth, CA Muir, Carol Digby, Carol and Bill Jager, Carol Spragg, Chris and Rachel Flay, Colin Wheeler, Doug and Joanne Robinson, Eris Bell, Four Square Eltham, Four Square Kaponga, Garth and Helen Worthington, Hanlie Ippell, Ilona Hanne, Janice Coombe, Kathryn Pick, Kym Wilson, Linda Jones, Lizette and Corie Bretherton, Mary Mills, Ngaire Larkin, Nola McMillan, Rosa and Peter Sharpe, Ross and Heather Chisnell, Shontelle Gwerder, Steve Cowan, Team HOPE, Teen Parent Unit, Tina and Alan Jones, Tutaki Youth Inc and Wendy Barry.