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MEET THE TEAM: 5 minutes with Mackenzie

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Tell us about yourself and how you found yourself part of Neighbourhood:

My name is Mackenzie, I’m 21 years old and am currently studying to be a primary teacher in Aotearoa. I’m a real foodie, grew up with my dad as a chef so the kitchen is the place to be in my house! I’m a sensitive, empathic wee soul (ask anyone who knows me!) and only want to help people, which is why I’m here! I had been following Maddie [Maddie Mason, the creator of Neighbourhood] for awhile and saw the cool things she created and jumped on board at the first chance I got!

Describe yourself in three words:

Warm-hearted, outgoing and determined

Do you have any significant goals or projects for 2021?

I am in my first year of study so would love to complete that without pulling an all-nighter! But in all seriousness, I would love to finish my first year on a high, still enjoying every moment and trying not to be overly stressed about life. A current little project I’ve ventured out on is making my own candles which I’m loving! But my main goal for 2021 is to love myself. I have spent far too much time wondering ‘what if….’ and beating myself up for human mistakes. This year has been all about discovering me, what I like to do and how to be selfish - time to put me first!

What is a cause/issue/movement that you feel passionately about?

Any mental health movement, which is why I joined Neighbourhood during the Silent Fight campaign. Mental health is a topic close to my heart and anything we can do as humans to ease the burden on others, we should do with open arms and an open heart.

Who or what has influenced you the most?

My dad. He is a special man who has struggled with depression for a good chunk of my life. He never shies away from a chat about feelings, is comfortable in the uncomfortable act of being vulnerable and has set such an incredible example for his daughters. Most of what I do in life is with the end goal of making my parents proud, but especially my dad.

If someone I love is down, I cheer them up by…

Food or a good hug.

Somewhere that you’ve never been to in Aotearoa that you’d like to visit?

The Coromandel!

Something that relaxes me when I’m feeling stressed is..

Cooking! For many, it’s a chore but for me, it’s relaxing and grounding. Getting creative in the kitchen is such a moment for me when I’m feeling stressed. I’m able to jam out to some bangers (Mr Jones by Counting Crows) and cook for my loved ones who are always so appreciative of it.

What is something you’re grateful for?

My two younger sisters, they are my best friends I never knew I needed. Not a day passes without talking to them. Honestly, I couldn’t survive without these two, they bring out the absolute best in me and I am so grateful that my life was blessed with them.

The last thought that kept you awake at night was…

How much university work I have to finish!

Do you have any strange and completely irrational fears?

I hate swimming in the ocean NEXT to anything. Sound’s so strange I know but an example is paddleboarding. I love it and I love swimming but falling off the paddleboard and being told to swim, instant panic. Jumping off wharfs or boats just creates this panic because I’m either supposed to be swimming or on this thing, not in the middle. Strange, I know.

My idea of heaven is…

Sun, beach, food, my loved ones, good music and a G&T in hand.

What is something you’re excited about at the moment?

Heading down to Queenstown with my partner in June, finally eating at Josh Emett’s restaurant Rata! Or summer, I’m a summer baby so can’t wait for some sun and my first RnV!

Favourite song on your playlist right now?

Angel by Loyle Carner and Tom Misch OR Suede by Nxworries

What motivates you to do good?

Setting good examples, whether that’s for my sisters, my students or my friends and family. I’d like to be remembered because of the impact I had on people and the examples I set. I’d also just love the world to be a kinder place so if by me doing my part, the world becomes a tiny bit nicer, then I feel as though I’ve accomplished something.

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