Celebrate Best Buddies New Zealand: Town and Country


Best Buddies New Zealand launched in 2007 and is run by Life Unlimited. The chapter at Melville High School is the very first chapter in the country. Participant Adriaan Tocker shares some insight into his friendship with his buddy, Nick.

Over here, Best Buddies isn’t very well known, in fact, Melville High School has the only Best Buddies chapter in New Zealand.

In my first year at high school, I joined Best Buddies and met Nick. We hit it off immediately, and quickly became great mates. We have now been Buddies for two years and have shared some awesome experiences.

Nick’s family owns a small farm and I have been invited over frequently. I really enjoy going out there. We drive the quad bike around feeding hay to the goats and horse, collecting firewood, and fixing fences.

I also got to know Nick’s friend, Dillon. His family has a farm just outside of Te Awamutu. This summer, we camped out there several times. We sleep on the ground in a tent, and cooked on the barbeque or the braai. We’ve helped out in the milking shed with their hundreds of cows. Sometimes we hoon around on Dillon’s go-kart and motorbikes.

Nick and I recently went on a three hour horse trek through the bush and beach on the west coast. I was pretty sore after three hours in the saddle (not so bad for Nick as he has been horse riding for a few years). I live in town so I have had a lot of fun doing these new outdoor experiences.
I have really enjoyed my friendship with Nick and Dillon, and even though Nick has now left school, we will stay good friends—probably for life.

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About Best Buddies

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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