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Over 400 attend Neighbourhood Support training in Levin
10 May 2006

The Levin Memorial Hall was packed to overflowing on Monday night (8 May) for a Neighbourhood Support Group Co-ordinators training meeting. Attendees included Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy, Levin Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery, and local and out of town Neighbourhood Support members from as far away as Palmerston North, Wanganui, Hawera and Fielding.

The evening had a special guest, the Hon Annette King, Minister of Police. The Minister was warmly welcomed and spoke with enthusiasm about the role of Neighbourhood Support. The Minister made special mention of the volunteer effort of Horowhenua Development Co-ordinator Wendy Foreman in revitalising Neighbourhood Support in Levin, and of the model relationship Senior Constable Roy Sanson has with the Levin community.

One of the matters that Senior Constable Roy Sanson spoke about was the reluctance, due to fear of victimisation, of some older people to put a Neighbourhood Support sign on their letterbox. Senior Constable Sanson explained that this very seldom happened and people were much less likely to suffer property damage when they lived in an area that was clearly sign posted as a Neighbourhood Support area.

Senior Constable Sanson also spoke about when to phone 111 and when to call police on a local number. See the fact sheet on when to call 111

The Honourable Annette King's speech notes can be read here.

The following is Wendy Foreman's speech.

"It is amazing to note, that in less than 7 months, the number of Levin street groups which have joined Neighbourhood Support, has swelled from 28 to 118.

People in these groups have expressed how great it has been to have a focus and a reason to get to know their neighbours, in a friendly, supportive way, while still being alert to instances of potential crime and annoyance in their Neighbourhoods.

Togetherness is the paramount thing.

This in its turn, creates an awareness of the town's solidarity, which is an advantage to the whole community.

Many people are busy today - in this age.

Many homes are empty all day.

Children are at school.

Parents are working.

And there are still those who are housebound.

Here is a way the more able-bodied among us, are able to care - in a small way - about their neighbours.

Anything that will bring a community together is positive for the whole area.

As Levin is very high on the list of resident retired folk - in fact, 4th in New Zealand !! - it becomes more important for us all to be conscious of our neighbours, and offer mutual support wherever possible.

I firmly believe that with enthusiasm and drive we can encourage more groups to join this ever-growing organisation, Neighbourhood Support, so that we can improve the general togetherness of our community. This in turn, can only make the Horowhenua District a better, friendlier, safer, more considerate place in which to live.

To all you co-ordinators, assistant co-ordinators, and groups who have come here tonight, take pride in your efforts, and give yourselves a good pat on the back for helping to bring our Levin community together and making it a safer, friendlier place, for us all.

Thank you all very much!"

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Contact the Chairperson for permission to reprint.