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Chch to host world Safe Communities conference

MEDIA RELEASE 15 September 2006

Christchurch to host world Safe Communities conference

Christchurch City Council has won the bid to host the 17th International Safe Communities Conference in 2008 – the year the city will seek accreditation as a World Health Organisation Safe Community.

Mayor Garry Moore said with Christchurch’s aim to be the safest city in New Zealand, it was fitting the city had secured the rights to host the prestigious international conference, in partnership with the Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand.

“Christchurch launched its Safer Christchurch Strategy a year ago with the aim of making this city a safer place to live, work, play and learn.

“The Strategy aligns injury prevention, road safety and crime prevention under the overarching aim of Christchurch becoming the safest city in New Zealand.

“All the initiatives under the Strategy have been designed to work towards Christchurch seeking WHO accreditation as a Safe Community. The city plans to seek accreditation in 2008 and this ceremony would be held during the conference.”

He said during the last year the Safer Christchurch Interagency Group had made considerable progress in building networks and working towards achieving the four goals in the Strategy: reduce injuries in the community, improve road safety; enhance safety through crime prevention, and support safety and injury prevention.

“Hosting the international conference provides that extra impetus for the city to work even harder to achieve these goals and become New Zealand’s safest city.”

More than 100 communities throughout the world are designated as a Safe Community and are part of the WHO Safe Community Network – five of these are in New Zealand: Waimakariri, Wellington, New Plymouth, Waitakere and Whangarei.

Garry Moore said by hosting the conference Christchurch would be given the opportunity to showcase the work the city was doing on injury prevention and safety promotion, as well as that by its neighbours Waimakariri District and Woodend School, and throughout New Zealand.

The 2006 conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa, being attended by 350 delegates from 51 countries. Next year’s conference is in Tehran, Iran.


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