Wellington Scoop

Being kind to your neighbours

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by Annabel Cave
Contributing to your community is easier than you think, but most inner-city Wellington dwellers are not doing it. A survey this year, conducted by Inner City Wellington (ICW), shows that only 30.8 per cent of them feel a sense of community.

What are they doing wrong? How can we make the inner city a better community? And why should we care?

With the expected population growth of 50,000 – 80,000 more people in Wellington city over the next 30 years, we need to engage more with our neighbours. If COVID has taught us anything, it is that our community is extremely important. Knowing our neighbours makes our community far more resilient. It also improves our wellbeing and makes Wellington a better place to live.

Improving the culture of our community will define the “way we do it” in Wellington and lead to the establishment of a caring community. Newcomers will follow our lead, it is so simple.

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You can easily start by introducing yourself. When was the last time you shared a cuppa with your neighbours? Asked if they were doing okay? Or shared a meal with them?

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The survey shows that only 23 per cent of inner-city Wellington dwellers have asked if their neighbours are doing okay, 60 per cent have never shared a drink with them, and only 15 per cent have shared a meal – which explains why only 30 per cent of them feel a sense of community.

Inner City Wellington aims to help build better connectedness for apartment dwellers. The association has commissioned a campaign which has created a series of posters, which challenge inner-city residents to think about community interactions and act on them to increase their sense of community. Following displays of the posters this month, Inner City Wellington will be hosting events for apartment dwellers – with the same aim.


Annabel Cave, who designed the posters, is a third-year student at Victoria University where she is studying design communications and marketing.


  1. greenwelly, 15. September 2020, 16:15

    A survey this year, conducted by Inner City Wellington, shows that only 30.8 per cent of them feel a sense of community. What are they doing wrong?

    Maybe nothing …. A survey by the council in 2015 indicated (pp 6&41) that only 48% of surveyed inner city residents thought it was important to feel a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood. So 30/48 is better than the headline (and better than the 26% in the council survey) …. Did ICW’s survey ask if people thought a sense of community was important to the respondents?

  2. Claire, 1. October 2020, 23:41

    We are very lucky to have a great community in Newtown. Already built tightly together long ago, gardens are close and neighbours can chat over the fence.
    We have street parties, Ethnic get togethers at the library with fabulous cooking. And a general friendliness in amongst the old cottages.
    It’s probably harder in high rises. People may be a bit more isolated. So good on you Annabel Cave.