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New strategy will help prevent injuries

26 June 2003 Media Statement

New strategy will help prevent injuries

The New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy provides a framework to make New Zealand a safer place, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Launching the strategy at Parliament, Ms Dyson said its aim was to promote a positive safety culture and create safe environments.

“The Injury Prevention Strategy shows the government’s commitment to work with organisations in the wider community to prevent injuries. On average, four people die each day as a result of injury and around 3,800 are injured badly enough to seek medical help. Many of these injuries have devastating consequences for the injured person, their loved ones, friends and workmates. There are also huge social and economic costs to the country as a whole.”

Ms Dyson said injury rates could be reduced, as shown by positive results in initiatives such as falls prevention programmes.

“Injury prevention experts have been saying for some time that the risk of injury is systematic and organisational in nature. Injuries are not merely random phenomena or a matter of chance. We must do all we can to continue reducing the number of injuries in this country.”

Led by ACC, the strategy was developed in partnership with key government agencies, a stakeholder reference group, community groups and other non-government organisations.

"Many groups helped prepare the strategy and I am confident that they will join enthusiastically in making it work," Ruth Dyson said.

The three leading causes of injury death are suicide, motor vehicle traffic crashes and falls. They make up three of the six areas identified as national injury prevention priorities, to be led by government agencies:
- Motor vehicle crashes will be led by the Land Transport Safety Authority.
- Suicide and deliberate self-harm will be led by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Youth Affairs.
- Falls will be led by ACC.
- Drowning and near-drowning will be led by ACC.
- Workplace injuries and occupational diseases will be led by the Department of Labour.
- Assault will be led by the Ministry of Justice.

Ruth Dyson said ACC would develop an implementation plan for the strategy and she would report annually on progress.

“It is my hope that government agencies, local government, non-government organisations, communities and individuals will use the strategy as a tool for working together to achieve a safe New Zealand, becoming injury-free.”

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson will launch the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy in the Beehive Foyer, Parliament Buildings, Wellington at 11am, Thursday, 26 June 2003.

Copies of the NZ Injury Prevention Strategy are available from ACC, PO Box 1595, Wellington, email: nzips@acc.co.nz or, from 2pm today, on the website: www.acc.co.nz/injury-prevention/nzips.

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