Child and family protection network Jigsaw says an initiative it has launched to encourage people to take more interest in their neighbours, particularly children, is a return to the community spirit of old.
Jigsaw's Linking Communities project has begun in Thames, the first in a nationwide roll-out.
The network's co-chief executive, Liz Kinley, says it is about people helping other people raise their children and looking after each other.
She says by building a community spirit, people start to look out for each other at an early stage before things start to go wrong.
Ms Kinley says the project will next be launched in Whangarei.