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Safer Hastings coalition welcomes new partners

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Keeping the community safe is best achieved when people come together from different sectors to have input, and that’s what’s making Safer Hastings a success.

Recently, Volunteering Hawke’s Bay, Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and Emerge Aotearoa added their support to the Safer Hastings coalition, taking the total number of partners to 25 across a wide range of community support sectors.

The Hastings district was accredited as a safer community (part of the international safe community network) in 2012, and since that time the membership of Safer Hastings has steadily grown.

The latest partners join the likes of NZ Police, Fire and Emergency NZ, ACC, Plunket, HBDHB, NZTA, Health Hawke’s Bay, Te Puni Kokiri, Housing New Zealand and others who contribute to the coalition that’s led by Hastings District Council.

The overarching aim of the initiative is to create and sustain supportive and connected communities, safe and healthy homes, safe roads, safe public spaces and reduction of addiction-related harm.

The coalition partners meet with each other regularly throughout the year, as well as running a wide range of activities and programmes in the community from Street by Street barbecues to courses on children’s emergency response readiness and fire safety awareness, and programmes on family harm reduction and falls prevention.

In March this year, the volunteer Flaxmere SAFE (Smoke Alarms for Everyone) team reported that they had visited their first 100 homes and installed 254 smoke alarms for free.

Safer Hastings also supported International Women’s Day, showcasing the career potential for women in emergency services, and the first Driver Licence Symposium held in November last year identified issues around young people gaining drivers licences and ways to overcome them.

Hastings councillor Eileen Lawson is the Safety Hastings chair and says the coalition is all about bringing organisations together to support the community.

"By joining community organisations with government agencies and council we have the best chance of creating a safe environment for our people.

"The success of this approach can be seen in what Safer Hastings is achieving - everyone has a responsibility and we are all doing a lot of work to promote community safety and reduce harm."

Volunteering Hawkes Bay manager Leanne Collins says her organisation is pleased to now be part of the Safer Hastings coalition.

"The progress and dedication within this group is inspiring, result driven and well facilitated. "Having a collaborative approach and respected presence for the work we do in the volunteer community allows us to be part of key issues that affect safety in Hastings."

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