Our Work

Neighbourhood Support Groups

Neighbourhood Support groups foster community safety, resilience and connectedness. To support you and your neighbours to stay connected, we maintain a comprehensive database of households and members of the community. Contact groups are managed by a street or area coordinator who can circulate contact lists and keep details up to date when people move away and new people join the street or area. 

Our database also enables us to share important information about events and issues in the community, opportunities arising from the work of other community organisations, and education about community safety, crime prevention and emergency preparedness.

We have two registers that can assist in an emergency response:

Emergency Skills Register

A civil defence emergency response often calls for all hands-on deck. We’ve updated our database to capture specific skills that are often required in an event. If you’re a qualified tradesperson, engineer, have medical or first aid skills, can operate specialised vehicles or equipment, or can translate languages, AND you’d be prepared to participate in an emergency response, please add your details.

Vulnerable Persons Register

When crisis strikes, everyone feels the impact in some way or another, but some of our community members are more vulnerable. Our vulnerable persons register is for people who may need additional or specialised support in the event of an emergency. Register your details and if there is an emergency affecting your area, our team will work with the Civil Defence team to ensure your safety and support.

To become a Neighbourhood Support member, add to one of our registers, join your local contact group, or start a contact group in your street, go to the Contact Us & Get Involved page. 

Civil Defence Support

Our connections in the community, through Neighbourhood Support contact groups, enable us to play a supporting role in recovery in the event of an emergency. We step in as required to work with Manawatu District Council and the wider emergency management network when a civil defence emergency arises. 

Supporting your community in an emergency can be enhanced by the information we hold, and our database can be customised to meet the needs of different groups in the community. If you have an idea about how to increase connectedness in your community and want to know how we may be able to support you, get in touch.

Buddy Reading

Our buddy reading programme is funded by Manawatu District Council and is available to all primary schools in the Manawatu District. We are currently active in seven schools, and always looking for more volunteers!

Our volunteer buddies visit once a week to read with students, trade stories, and have a bit of fun! The goal of the program is for kids to connect with older generations to form relationships, improve reading skills and develop communication skills. Programmes like this have health and cognitive benefits for elderly, and learning and development benefits for kids.

We’re always keen to expand the program to more schools in the district, and therefore we need more volunteer buddies, particularly in our more rural communities. Buddies can be adults of any age, but older adults and grandparents are particularly popular with the kids.

If you or someone you know wants to get involved, please send your details through the form on our contact page or give our general manager a call on 027 323 7387. All volunteers are Police vetted and receive training before being placed in a school.

Schools we currently visit:

  • Apiti
  • Kimbolton
  • Kiwitea
  • Lytton Street
  • North Street
  • Mount Biggs
  • Sanson
  • Taonui
  • Tangimoana

Music & Movement

Our Music & Movement programme is funded by Manawatu District Council to increase physical, social and mental wellbeing in our community. As part of this programme, we hold weekly Dance-Fit sessions in four locations around the District, and regular community singalongs throughout the year.

Current Dance-Fit schedule:

  • Feilding Scout & Guide Hall – Mondays 9:30am
  • Cheltenham Hall – Thursdays 9am
  • Te Kawau Memorial Recreation Centre, Rongotea – Thursdays 1pm

Valid for August-December 2021.

Check out our blog for info about our most recent singalong in July 2021. 

Rural Community Transport Initiative

Since June 2021 Neighbourhood Support Manawatū has led a project to establish a rural community transport initiative for Manawatū District. 

The need for such a service has been discussed by various groups in different forums for more than two years. In particular, Jane Renwick and June Barratt of Apiti led some research in 2019 & 2020 to explore the need with a focus on access to health services. Their findings were presented to Manawatu District Council in late 2020.

A rural community transport service would enable our rural residents to stay connected with the rest of the District, which aligns strongly with Neighbourhood Support’s mission.

A steering committee was established to lead the initiative, with representatives from Manawatū Rural Support Service, St John, and Manawatū rural communities.  A survey was conducted from August-October to explore who would use the service, what for, and some location and demographic information. The results were analysed to inform the service proposal.

The final report and service proposal were published on 5 May 2022. An introduction to the findings is published on our blog. The full report can be downloaded below.

The report has been submitted to Horizons Regional Council’s Draft Regional Public Transport consultation and shared with Manawatū District Council elected members and staff. Pending support from both councils, the first steps to establish the service can begin. More detail about this process is included in the report.