Fairfax invests in new NZ social site

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Fairfax Media NZ has bought a stake in Kiwi-founded neighbourhood website Neighbourly.co.nz, a platform that allows New Zealanders to connect and share with their neighbours and wider community using private websites for their suburb.

The move is part of a strategy by Fairfax, owner of the Stuff.co.nz website, to further strengthen its offering to communities across New Zealand.

Fairfax NZ managing director Simon Tong says Neighbourly.co.nz adds a strong social offering to the Fairfax portfolio. “Providing genuinely local content is our unique strength – and it’s highly valued by our readers. On a typical day, 1.8 million Kiwis read a Fairfax community newspaper.

“Our involvement with Neighbourly gives us an even greater opportunity to connect individuals within a community, to discuss the issues important to them, allow them to share their views and experiences and build community spirit.

“Since its June launch, Neighbourly is already active in 45% of New Zealand suburbs and it has established strong relationships with local councils, emergency services and well-known organisations.”

A relatively new addition to the New Zealand social media scene, Neighbourly was inspired by US-based neighbourhood networking site Nextdoor.com, which now has over 50 million members across 45,000 American neighbourhoods.

Neighbourly.co.nz co-founders Shane Bradley and Casey Eden say Fairfax’s enthusiasm and industry acumen makes it an ideal partner. “Our partnership with Fairfax is a logical step in the Neighbourly journey,” says Bradley. “Their credibility in the community space is unrivalled; they have an outstanding portfolio of community publications;  passionate dedicated teams out in the field doing many of the things we want Neighbourly to achieve – and most importantly, they were excited about getting involved from the get-go.

“The partnership came together very quickly once we started talking and realised the synergies between Neighbourly and Fairfax that will benefit our combined audiences.”

Managing director Casey Eden said: “Working  with Fairfax will enable us to build stronger, safer and friendlier communities in every corner of New Zealand, more quickly than we ever imagined. We’re excited to be working with such an experienced and widely respected partner – especially just seven months since launch.

“This partnership allows us to execute the vision we had when we first launched Neighbourly: more connected and safer communities across New Zealand.”

Members use Neighbourly.co.nz to exchange recommendations on local services, plan events, buy, sell and give away items, ask questions, discuss community issues, find lost pets and get to know one another. Neighbourly.co.nz is a free service, and was launched nationally in June 2014 and has 60,000 members across 1400 New Zealand suburbs.

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