Local school kids have had the chance to brush up on road, rail and water safety skills as part of the fifth annual Safe Kids Day.
Nearly 300 Year 7 and 8 children from schools in Ngaruawahia and surrounding areas attended Safe Kids Day at The Point in Ngaruawahia yesterday (6 November). Safe Kids Day is a health and safety collaborative educational effort by Waikato District 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,” Ngaruawahia Ward Councillor Eugene Patterson says.
“It’s become particularly important since the death of 11-year-old Moareen Rameka on the Ngaruawahia rail bridge last year. That was a tragedy that we do not want to see repeated in the future.
“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,” fellow Ngaruawahia Ward Councillor Janet Gibb adds.
“We need to educate our young people so that we make them safe, and having them be able to recognise the difference between right and wrong, is essential. We’re very pleased to support this community-led initiative.”
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle says KiwiRail values the opportunity to work with the local community to keep Ngaruawahia tamariki safe.
KiwiRail was devastated by the deaths on the rail bridge of Moareen last year, and of Jayden Nerihana Tepu in 2002.
“Our drivers, our local staff and the whole KiwiRail whanau felt those deaths personally. The railway corridor is an extremely dangerous environment and this sort of event is a great opportunity to share advice about how people can stay safe around trains.”
Council’s Road Safety, Civil Defence and Animal Control teams joined with KiwiRail, NZ Police and Fire and Emergency 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 fifth annual Safe Kids Day and will involve children from six schools: Glen Massey School, Horotiu School, St Paul’s Catholic School, Taupiri School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson School and Waipa School.
Photos available on request.For more information please contact:
Senior Communications & Engagement Advisor
Waikato District Council
027 706 5776