Reconnecting Aotearoa addresses the importance of nurturing and fortifying emotional and societal connections in Aotearoa. Combining ﬁrst-person accounts, journalistic narratives and research, editors Kathy Errington and Holly Walker bring together a set of writers to explore the implications of loneliness for today’s society.
The book explains how loneliness is particularly pronounced in speciﬁc communities, with 7.2% of LGBT+ individuals, 6.0% of recent migrants, 6.5% of young people aged 15-24, 5.7% for sole parents, and 9.9% of disabled people reporting feeling ‘consistently lonely’.
The book emphasises the imperative role societal connections play for overall wellbeing, saying, ‘As painful and isolating as the pandemic has been, it has also thrown the importance of social connections into sharp relief and highlighted where they have become frayed or non-existent. In doing so, it has provided an opportunity to repair them directly and purposefully.’
Using poignant personal accounts and compelling evidence, contributors Luke Fitzmaurice-Brown, Gaayathri Nair, Max Rashbrooke, Carrie Stoddart-Smith, Susan Strongman, Kiki Van Newtown and Athena Zhu explore the profound impact of strong connections and the consequences of loneliness and disconnection.
This book makes use of research and data from Mahi a Rongo | The Helen Clark Foundation, in particular the Foundation’s reports ‘Alone Together’ (June 2020) and ‘Still Alone Together’ (April 2021), produced with support from WSP in New Zealand. Both Errington and Walker formerly held the roles of Director and Deputy Director at the Foundation, when this research was undertaken.