Nearly 300 Year 7 and 8 children from schools in Ngaruawahia and surrounding areas will be attending a Safe Kids Day at The Point, Ngaruawahia, on Wednesday this week (7 November) as part of a health and safety collaborative educational effort by the Council, KiwiRail, emergency services and other organisations.
“This is part of a long-term community effort to teach children how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations. With summer on the way it’s a good time of the year to make sure everyone is thinking about how to take care while also enjoying outdoor activities,” says local Ngaruawahia Ward Councillor Eugene Patterson.
“But it’s become particularly important since the death of 11-year-old Moareen Rameka on the Ngaruawahia rail bridge earlier this year. That was a tragedy that we do not want to see repeated in the future,” he says.
“KiwiRail was devastated by the death of Moareen this year. Our drivers, our local staff and the whole KiwiRail whanau felt it personally,” says KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle.
“We’re pleased to be part of a wide community effort to keep our children safe. The railway corridor is an extremely dangerous environment, we’re looking forward to meeting local children and sharing advice about how they can stay safe around trains.”
Western Waikato Police Commander, Inspector Andrew Mortimore, says, “Young people are the future of our community. They will be our future leaders, and so it’s important they’re exposed to good practices, behaviours and values. Educating them so that we make them safe, and able to recognise the difference between right and wrong, is essential. We’re very pleased to support this community-led initiative.”
The Council’s Road Safety, Civil Defence and Animal Control teams will join with KiwiRail, NZ Police, Fire and Emergency NZ, St John Ambulance Service and Swimming NZ to run interactive information sessions to provide the children with information on how to deal with emergency situations and to provide basic skills to keep themselves safe around road, rail and water.
This is the fourth annual Safe Kids Day and will involve children from seven schools: Glen Massey School, Horotiu School, Ngaruawahia School, St Paul’s Catholic School, Taupiri School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson School, and Waipa School.
Photo: School children at a previous Ngaruawahia Safe Kids Day