Manukau Courier : December 19th 2014
www.neighbourly.co.nz Friday, December 19, 2014 Drive to save kids By NIGEL MOFFIET CUTTING the number of children being killed on driveways is the aim of a nationwide programme nearing completion in South Auckland. Housing New Zealand is spending $30 million to make improvements at 13,000 state-owned properties in an initiative that kicked off in July last year. Improvements have been made to 1633 South Auckland homes with another 423 to be completed over the next few months. Work includes new fencing, self-closing gates with child-restraint latches, speed restriction signs, speed humps and convex mirrors with an average cost of $2300 per property. HNZ regional director Denise Fink says the programme has targeted properties with young children because most driveway accidents involve toddlers. News of any injuries to children on driveways is ‘‘devastating’’, she says. ‘‘We have a close relationship with our tenants and we don’t want to have any child being hurt on our driveways. ‘‘The work we carry out depends on the type of property but the key priority is creating contained play areas for children that are separate from the driveways.’’ HNZ is also working closely with Safekids Aotearoa to promote prevention awareness. Safekids director Ann Weaver says driveway accidents ‘‘can happen anywhere and to anyone’’. ‘‘However, our studies have shown that a higher than average family size, together with the high population density typical of major urban areas are common factors. ‘‘Children from economically dis- HOLIDAYS The Manukau Courier wishes all its readersa veryMerry Christmas andan even better New Year. Our offices close for the holidays today and will re-open for business on January 12. But ourreporters will be back on deck from January5. Ifyou need to contact them from that date call the editor on 272 5863 or email email@example.com. Driving safety: HousingNewZealandareamanager Karen Hitchcock, left, and regionalmanager Denise FinkataManurewa house that has a new fenced area as part of the $30million driveway safety programme. advantaged backgrounds are also consistently identified as being at greater risk of being killed or injured in a driveway.’’ Fink says safety education is as important as the physical improvements. ‘‘Know where your children are Photo: NIGEL MOFFIET before getting out of the car, check for kids before driving off and always supervise children around vehicles.’’ GRIMFACTS Safekids Aotearoa research shows New Zealand has oneof the highest rates of child driveway deaths andinjuries in the world. A child is hospitalised every two weeks and five die each year from driveway accidents. Signsof a risky driveway include a longdriveway, a driveway shared with other properties, a driveway in a quiet road or cul-de-sac, a driveway which also provides pedestrian access to a house, adriveway leadingto parking, anda driveway with no physical barrier from an outdoor play area. Driveway safety upgrades by area: Papakura – 243 completed, 40 planned Manurewa/Clendon – 426 completed, 90 planned Otara – 602 completed, 135 planned Mangere – 362 completed, 158 planned from the community and will be delivered to needy families in the next week. Operations manager Murray Peat says all ages have been catered for through the generosity of so many people. ‘‘We wish to say a big thank you Readers show they’ve got ‘truly generous hearts’ CHRISTMA It’s been another stellar year for the annual Manukau Courier-Salvation Army Christmas appeal. Thousands of toys have poured in The appeal has already brought HRISTMAS APPEAL PEAL for the kindness shown from the Sallies and on behalf of those in need and without a voice.’’ MASSIVE 40% joy to two deserving families this Christmas. One family was tied up at hos- pital with a son in a critical condition. They were ‘‘absolutely delighted’’ to receive a gift for their boy, Peat says. Another family with many chil- dren had a parcel of presents arrive at their house. off over 200 cars! $4995 - $9995 www.aquacars.co.nz The father was ‘‘over the moon’’ with the unexpected gifts. Manukau Courier editor Judith Tucker has added her thanks to readers too. ‘‘Once again I’m amazed at the generosity of our readers – every year they seem to pull out all the stops to help make Christmas better for those in need. ‘‘So well done South Auckland – you have truly generous hearts.’’ FINAL WEEK!
December 18th 2014