You know how sometimes you see a tradesperson’s car outside your neighbour’s house, and wonder if that plumber/ painter/ lawnmower is any good….. but you forget to ask at the annual street BBQ a few months later? Or you need a local babysitter – not one you have to drive 30 minutes to drop home at the end of the night! Or you wonder if anyone has tried the new cafe that has opened up the road? Well, the solution is here.

What is it? Neighbourly is a free and private neighbourhood website that allows us Kiwis to easily meet and interact with our neighbours and community. It’s a bit like Facebook, but location-based to connect you with those people who live near you, rather than people you already know. 

Neighbourly MapJoining is free, however all members must use their real name and have their address verified (similar to TradeMe’s address verification process). Members are grouped into suburbs created using boundary maps from the NZ Fire Service, local councils, NZ Post, Statistics New Zealand, and Land Information New Zealand. 

How does it work? I took a poke around the website to see how members are using it. The neighbourhood I’m in has plenty of activity happening. There are new members joining daily, and a quick scroll through the posts reveal recommendations of window cleaners, some kids Countdown cards swapped, relocated dressmaker found again, an unwanted table sold, a local walking group established, a garage sale notice and a variety of lost (then found) cats. There are also posts from NZ Police, Civil Defence and Auckland Council – great to see these organisations participating in the online community. Urgent alerts can be received via text for time-sensitive updates from your neighbours on topics such as suspicious activities, missing children, fires, floods or other disasters, or local evacuations.

Weekends seem to be busier than weekdays, and the classified ads section offers a free alternative to TradeMe, with the benefit of not having to arrange pickup from someone living outside your area.

Privacy. But who can see all your information and details? Neighbourly gives you a few options to protect your privacy such as hiding your street number, and only showing your name, profile photo and suburb to people outside your neighbourhood. Additionally, they do stress you should not divulge any more information than you are comfortable with. Private messaging between neighbours is available and a comprehensive FAQ section answers many of your questions.

Overseas, similar websites already exist such as, which has been used like an online neighbourhood watch to crowdsource crime spree information to assist police.

Surely there are ads everywhere, right? Privately funded, there are no plans for banner advertising by brands: “You will not wake up one morning and see banner ads, pop-ups, or messages from advertisers flooding the website”, however further business models will be developed in the future to generate revenue. Founders Shane Bradley and Casey Eden are expanding into Australia following the success of the New Zealand trial which started in February.

This has to be the best social network I have seen in quite some time. It’s highly relevant, incredibly useful, has a well designed website and is free to use. It is also mobile – download the iOS or Android app for your phone.

Sign up to Neighbourly here, and start meeting your neighbours! All suburbs are now open so invite your friends as well.

Vaughn Davis and I had a chat about it on his Radio Live Sunday Social Show – you can listen to the audio here.


Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. This is great, except the concept, design, and ideas are complete rip off from this honours graduates major project:

  2. Thanks for sharing, your timing is impeccable 🙂

  3. This is a really interesting idea. It is kind of sad that we need the internet to facilitate social interactions but I get why it is needed and there seems to be loads of examples – including http://www.taskrabbit which also looks very interesting. Tesco in the UK is trialling another example of the interweb facilitating our lives in a way that did not exist when we actually knew our neighbours. So, for example, if you run out of caster sugar when baking, you can request a bag to be delivered to your house within 1 hour for a sum of money. I’m afraid I’m still an old fashioned type and can often be seen running to my neighbours with an empty cup to solve the same problem!

  4. Look forward to trying it out. I wrote about sites like in my book about buying Real Estate using location based services, so I can’t not give it a try. Lots of respect to Shane Bradley, he knows what he’s doing. Interested to know the business model.

  5. Thanks for linking to the audio! (And for appearing on the show, of course)

  6. Interesting to see if Neighbourly works in New Zealand as in other countries where the same concepts has been tried they have not succeed. I wonder if Neighbourly will be a ghost town unless there is very tight integration into sites people are actually on like Facebook. A few friends are running closed Facebook groups for their street and finding it really effective.

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