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Dyson: New Zealand Community Safety

Ruth Dyson Minister for ACC

15 August 2006 12 noon, Wellington Town Hall

Rau rangatira maa, tenei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ra. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

[Distinguished guests, greetings to you gathered here for this purpose today. Greetings once, twice, three times to you all.]

I am delighted to be here today to present the New Zealand Community Safety and Injury Prevention Awards for 2006.

It's just three years since I had the very great pleasure of launching the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy - a strategy which demonstrates the Labour-led government's commitment to working with community and non-government organisations and individuals to both improve injury prevention and reduce the impact of injury on New Zealanders.

The development of this strategy is a big step towards achieving our vision of a safe, injury-free New Zealand.

You will all be only too aware of the devastating consequences of injury on a person, their family, friends and community - of the waste of talents and people's lives.

As a government, we have a responsibility to work to ensure New Zealand does not have to endure this waste of potential, with its huge personal, social and economic costs.

The policies we have developed and are implementing are beginning to have an effect, with some very positive results in some areas.

The New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy provides a strategic framework that promotes a collaborative approach to improving New Zealand's injury prevention performance, and allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have already made.

Collaborative partnerships between Government agencies in the research and funding of safety initiatives are producing great results for the community.

Our injury prevention efforts are better co-ordinated and we are moving towards a common goal, united by a shared vision of a New Zealand free from injury.

Safety New Zealand Week was created by ACC as an opportunity to promote better safety practices to New Zealanders. It is all about encouraging people to be more aware of safety issues so that the number and severity of injuries can be reduced.

Almost 300 registrations have been received from organisations in the private, business and government sectors, and from charities and service and sports clubs.

They include some of New Zealand's biggest employers and they are all committed to our vision of an injury-free New Zealand.

These awards are designed to highlight best practice in the field of community-based injury prevention and safety promotion. You will all soon see how successful the winners have been in combining creativity and practicality in their outstanding contributions.

It is particularly appropriate that we are holding the awards ceremony in Wellington, which has recently been designated a World Health Organisation Safe Community, and is the only capital city of any country to have been recognised in this way.

New Zealand Safety Week is raising awareness in our communities of the need for injury prevention - we need to carry these messages on to all the other 51 weeks of the year.

Thank you.

ENDS

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