Community raising children Neighbour 2 Neighbour

Neighbour 2 Neighbour is using the adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ with a series of parenting conversations hosted by parents for anyone interested in parenting. 

Coordinator/mentor Isabel Crawforth says the programme provides community and connection, and a way for people to support each other on their journey of parenting.

“At its core it is about loving ourselves and our children better. Neighbour 2 Neighbour provides a space to come together to have conversations about our aspirations for our children and the aspirations for our community as a whole.”

Created by Ruth Beaglehole and adapted by the Te Mauri Tau and Parenting with Nonviolence team, the programme was piloted last year with five hosts meeting in pods (small groups of participants) in homes around Whaingaroa.

“Not everyone feels comfortable in a workshop or in a classroom setting. The great thing about Neighbour 2 Neighbour pods is they offer a genuine space to hold honest conversations about parenting.”

A non-judgemental approach is a vital component to the success of the pods, Isabel says.

“We have all had moments on our parenting journey when we have behaved inappropriately, we wouldn’t be human if we hadn’t. Neighbour 2 Neighbour provides a safe space to share the ups and downs of parenting, and to learn from each other.”

Te Mauri Tau, Parenting with Nonviolence and Neighbour 2 Neighbour teams work closely with Ruth Beaglehole who has been a leading voice in the call to end the violence and oppression of younger human beings for over 50 years.

Since 2011, Ruth has done extensive work with Te Mauri Tau and until COVID hit she had travelled twice a year to New Zealand to support the Te Mauri Tau’s work through trainings and community dialogue, as well as to spend time with her family in Whaingaroa.

Isabel is looking forward to hosting Ruth at the end of March and hopes there will be opportunities for Ruth to speak in Whaingaroa about her work.

“Ruth is a passionate child advocate and has many inspiring stories to tell about people from all over the world who have been able to change their parenting habits and really connect with their children. She promotes the practice of empathy, both with ourselves and our tamariki and learning that our own healing is a major factor in being able to become the parents we wished we’d had,” Isabel says.

The first Neighbour 2 Neighbour community conversation was held recently but Isabel says there are still opportunities for future pods and the Parenting with Nonviolence programme will also be starting again in May.

For more information contact Isabel at or 0273057638.

Janine Jackson