Speech: Saving Children's Lives
Office of Hon Mark Gosche
Minister of Transport
Minister of Housing
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Member of Parliament for Maungakiekie
Kia orana, Ni sa Bula, Taloha ni, Malo e lelei, Faka’alofa lahi atu, Halo Olaketa, Ia orana.
Kia Ora, Greetings, Talofa Lava.
I would like to first pay my respects to the Tuvaluan community who suffered a huge, tragic loss in yesterday's fire. I am sure they will be in the prayers of many New Zealanders at this difficult, sad time.
Saving the lives of our children is the reason I'm here today.
Child car seats save lives and we must get our communities using them.
The road toll may be going down. But in 1998, more than two hundred children under the age of five were killed or injured on New Zealand roads.
That's more than two hundred reasons for us to buckle our kids in whenever we get in the car.
Every, single time we don't put our children in car seats – we are risking their lives.
It is that simple.
So please put your children in car seats. Please contact Plunket if you don't have one.
I would like to thank Plunket and the Maori and Pacific health professional's who have put together this Life Saver Resource Kit. It's in our languages and it's targeting our communities. And I dearly hope it works.
I intend to investigate ways of making it even easier for families to have access to car seats.
But right now we must start using them.
Land Transport and Safety Authority figures reveal that only half of our families in Manukau city are putting our children in car seats.
That means half of our children in Manukau have their lives risked every time they get in the car.
Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future and they must be kept safe.
Last millennium our ancestors navigated, conquered and settled throughout the world's largest ocean. It is a proud legacy. The history of our people's is one of extraordinary achievement and triumph against the odds. I hope our children never forget it.
And I hope that we as parents, whanau and aiga can continue to live up to it by not risking our children's lives. Please use car seats and please keep our youngsters safe.