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MEET THE TEAM: 5 minutes with Mackenzie

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

My name is Mackenzie, my professional training is in musical theatre, but now my biggest focuses are doing what I can to help others, spreading joy and trying my best to live slow and enjoy all the moments! One of my best friends Lucy (shout out to you if you’re reading this) messaged me and said “not sure if you follow Neighbourhood but you would be awesome on their team”, so I looked into the mahi that they do, and fell in love with it!

The beautiful Mackenzie and Flow!

Describe yourself in three words: Compassionate, creative and grounded (well, always working on that last one but lets manifest it into existence)

Do you have any significant goals or projects for 2022?:

I want to keep working on photography, learn to ski, and keep doing things that are scary. Starting new hobbies in your 20s, and being bad at them, is actually quite intimidating. But so far this year I have started surfing, bouldering and rock climbing so I’m happy with that start!

Rock climbing at Hospital Flat in Wanaka!

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

I would love to see greater care and respect for LGBTQIA+ whanau and more acsessible healthcare, especially for our transgender community. I am super passionate about removing gender labels around colours, sports, hobbies, day-to-day language and clothing!! A skirt is literally just a piece of fabric! Let anyone wear it. I would also love to see hustle culture less glorified, especially when it's to the point of self destruction.

Who or what has influenced you the most?

My family of course, my parents and my sisters Hannah and Alice, my friends; Lois, Nomi, Avi, Kirsten, Clara, Rowan, Liv, Katie, Lauren, Abi, Tim, Eliza, Jess and many more. These people truly push and encourage me more than I could ever imagine and I am so blessed to have them, and of course everyone that I haven't mentioned, in my life.

If someone I love is down, I cheer them up by listening to their needs. This would vary between my loved ones, but if there is anything I can do to make their life easier in that moment, you bet I will do it. Also a surprise bunch of flowers and a hand painted card is never a bad idea.

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

Ooooh there are so many, I haven’t spent a lot of time in the North Island so a roadie up there would be a dream. Lots of beach days and I’m sold.

Something that relaxes me when I’m feeling stressed is the beach. Sometimes even just going and sitting in the sand, not going for a swim or a surf, just sitting there. It's crazy how much just breathing in time with the waves slows me down.

What is something you’re grateful for?

I’m grateful for my body, and everything that it can do, and I’m grateful it sticks by me even in the times where I don’t show it as much love as I probably should. I am also grateful for my amazing friends, both new and old, who I just feel safe and comfortable around. Nothing is nicer than knowing that when we hang out it will just feel right. Grateful for my family who I love so so much, and I’m very grateful for my therapist. She rocks.

The last thought that kept you awake at night was… definitely about the state of the world at the moment, it’s pretty overwhelming and hard trying to find the balance of wanting to be educated about whats happening, but not wanting to drown in it. But on a lighter note, last night I was awake ranking the songs from Harrys House in my head as I was falling asleep.

Do you have any strange and completely irrational fears?

I once changed my flights home from Sydney 4 days early because there were so many cockroaches and I couldn’t take it, also used to be pretty scared of the ocean, which is weird if you look at how much I love it, but I have gotten WAY better with that one!

My idea of heaven is you know those days where the weather has been perfect and you’ve been with your friends and you’ve had lots of great food and drinks and the weather has been perfect and you’re tucked up in bed about to go to sleep and you feel warm and happy and comfortable, heaven has to just be that feeling, 24/7

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