In 2011 a group of mates went to Fiji to build a medical dispensary.
We were inspired to see how the power of community could achieve so much in a short amount of time.
It was amazing to see that by working together we could make such a positive difference in the local Fijian community.
This was the start of our journey and many conversations about how we could use this same power of community to make positive changes to our neighbourhoods here in New Zealand.
The Fiji trip left us asking "Is it possible that people in our own communities could work together to make our local neighbourhoods a better place to be?”
By meeting practical needs, could we build better relationships, and begin the journey of transforming our communities through simple acts of generosity and kindness?
Well we think it can, and so the vision of the Good Neighbour Trust was born.
A small group of us began to meet to dream and brainstorm about what this could look like.
We decided to form a charitable trust called Good Neighbour. This was an undertaking that took over a year to complete.
What started as a very practical organisation that was focused on meeting needs through projects soon branched out to include distributing food good enough to eat (that otherwise would be going to waste in land fill) to charities.
A dynamic couple in our group, John and Jackie Paine began investigating this concept.
A trip to Wellington to look at a food rescue organisation called Kaibosh was the catalyst and Good Neighbour Food Rescue became a reality.
Lavina Good, a community minded person, independently contacted Kaibosh who put her in contact with the Paines. The trio began working together to move Good Neighbour Food Rescue forward. Next came a period of assessing the need of community organisations and the availablity of food in a feasibilty study funded by the "Working together more fund." Early in 2014 a trial of picking up food then sorting it ready for community organisations to pick up, quickly led to the establishment of Good Neighbour Food Rescue.
Food Rescue is growing rapidly and has huge potential and is now the second strand of Good Neighbour.
The other area of Good Neighbour came about when we met Al and Anne Gourley.
They had started an organisation called "Lets Get Growing" to set up community gardens where neighbours rent a small garden and grow veges and make friends as they work together in this communal garden.
"Lets Get Growing" needed a charitable trust to be a part of, we decided this was a good fit for Good Neighbour and a new partnership was formed.
This became the third strand of Good Neighbour