Neighbourhood Champion awards

Our Neighbourhood Champion award winners this year are truly inspiring.
The two winners have instigated projects which have had a far-reaching impact on their neighbourhood and the people in it.

Trevor and Myffie James

Trevor James has driven a project to plant thousands of native trees in Bolwell Reserve in Stoke. Trevor and his wife Myffie, pictured above, live close to the reserve and had the vision of bringing nature to the city when they started planting more than 10 years ago. At that stage the reserve was infested with gorse, so the Nelson City Council was keen on the idea. Since then about 8000 trees have been planted and are now flourishing. Trevor and Myffie grew about half the trees from seed in their own backyard nursery and the rest were bought or donated. Trevor has spent countless hours planting, watering and weeding seedlings, and his enthusiasm has inspired neighbours, friends and community groups to get involved too. This has provided many people with a sense of community, and the satisfaction of giving back to their community.

Sue and Darcy Hogue 1

Darcy and Sue Hogue, pictured above,  took the initiative to install a defibrillator in their  neighbourhood and organised training sessions on how to use it. The couple, who are the co-ordinators of a Neighbourhood Support group, donated the defibrillator because they thought it would be useful to have if someone had a sudden cardiac arrest. They did a letterbox drop to 140 households to tell people how to access it, and organised two training sessions for the neighbourhood. They’re now planning a third session.  The Hogues were also chosen for the champion award because of their efforts in helping neighbours connect. They make newcomers feel welcome, and regularly organise neighbourhood get-togethers.

We’d also like to recognise these people who were highly commended:

Kelly Walker – for her dedication to keeping her neighbourhood clean and tidy. Every weekend Kelly picks up rubbish alongside Marsden Valley Road, and usually ends up with handfuls of bags of rubbish. She has done this for about 6 years.

Marcel Stutz – for generously giving his time and skills to help neighbours with practical jobs. Marcel has spent many Saturdays building fences and decks, and lending tools, expertise and muscle to neighbours in Marsden Park.

Merv Campbell – for his thoughtfulness in helping out his neighbours, particularly the elderly, with odd jobs, gardening and cleaning. Merv has also taken on the job of closing the local Monaco Reserve at nights.

Nelson wins Neighbours Day award


We’re very proud of our `City of the Year” award that has been given to us by  Neighbours Day Aotearoa. The lovely teapot trophy was awarded to Nelson because it had the highest participation in Neighbours Day this year of any city in New Zealand per capita. At least 65 neighbourhood gatherings were held during the Neighbours Day weekend at the end of March.

Neighbourhood Support Nelson was presented with the trophy because we actively support and promote Neighbours Day Aotearoa each year. This year we gave 48 meat pack, bakery, pizza and equipment hire vouchers to neighbourhoods to help them celebrate the event. The vouchers were funded through grants from the Nelson City Council and Network Tasman and we also received sponsorship from the voucher suppliers – Pestells Rai Bacon Company, Stoke Bakery, Pizza Hut and Hirepool.

Our teapot will be put to good use at events and at our monthly cuppa and chat sessions at the Elma Turner library in Nelson. These are held on the last Thursday of the month (except December) from 11am to 1pm and anyone is welcome to come and have a cup of tea and discuss a neighbourhood issue, or find out more about joining a Neighbourhood Support group.

Neighbourhood stories & AGM


Come and hear some inspiring and heart-warming stories at our AGM on September 21. The evening will kick off with a cosy story session, where four guest speakers will tell a short story about a neighbourhood close to their heart. Our guest speakers are:

  • Marcia Higgs, organiser of community treasure hunts and an upcoming  Treasure Trail (garage sale trail) in The Wood
  • Jacqui Irwin, content resident of a supportive neighbourhood in Atawhai
  • Megan Courtney, a member of the Inspiring Communities team, who has worked with communities around the country
  • Trevor Bryant, Neighbourhood Support group co-ordinator in Stoke

When: 7pm, Monday September 21

Where: Meeting room, Nick Smith’s rooms, 544 Waimea Rd. See map.

More information on the AGM and  nomination forms for the committee are here

Workshop for group co-ordinators

What: Fun & informative workshop for Neighbourhood Support group contacts  and deputy contacts (and anyone interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Support group).  Learn more about how you can help make your neighbourhood safer and prepare for natural disasters. Share ideas on what makes a Neighbourhood Support group hum. Mix and mingle before and/or after the workshop.

When: Wednesday 24 June, 6.30pm mix and mingle, 7pm workshop

Where: Nelson Suburban Club hall, 168 Tahunanui Drive, Tahunanui.

Special guests: include Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and representatives from the Police and Nelson Tasman Emergency Management. There will also be information displays from various community organisations such as Red Cross, Citizens Advice Bureau, Nelson Multicultural Council, Nelson Newcomers Network, Victim Support, SVS Living Safe, Lifeline, Samaritans…

Click here for more info and the programme, and to RSVP