Safety im­prove­ments for HNZ prop­er­ties

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ELENA MCPHEE

Hous­ing NZ says nearly $50,000 has been spent on pro­vid­ing brand new smoke alarms for its Ti­maru prop­er­ties in the past year, and se­cure drive­way ar­eas have also been built around more than 100 homes since 2013.

A Hous­ing NZ spokesman said while the num­ber of smoke alarms pro­vided per house var­ied, on av­er­age $140 was spent on each house in the 2016 to 2017 fi­nan­cial year.

With 337 houses now fea­tur­ing new smoke alarms, that came to $47,180 in to­tal.

Area man­ager Kate Mil­ton said the photo-elec­tric smoke alarms were rec­om­mended by Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand, and pro­vided up to 10 years’ smoke de­tec­tion.

‘‘They re­move the frus­tra­tion of fix­ing the flat bat­tery beep,’’ she said.

‘‘Help­ing our ten­ants and their fam­i­lies stay safe is a big part of what we do as the coun­try’s largest land­lord. We spent $474 mil­lion on main­te­nance and im­prove­ments in our 2016 and 2017 fi­nan­cial year,’’

Ti­maru senior sta­tion of­fi­cer Mar­tyn Ben­nett said photo-elec­tric smoke alarms had been around for about 15 years but had re­cently be­come far more af­ford­able.

‘‘They are the only sort that we will in­stall,’’ he said.

Clean­ing the alarms on a reg­u­lar ba­sis was very im­por­tant, how­ever.

Ben­nett said he be­lieved most Ti­maru peo­ple had fire alarms and were aware of the dan­gers of fires.

Mil­ton said the Drive­way Safety pro­gramme, which be­gan in 2013, aimed to re­duce the risk of chil­dren be­ing run over in the drive­ways of state homes.

It in­cluded in­stalling fenc­ing, self-clos­ing gates with child- re­sis­tant latches, speed re­stric­tion signs, speed humps and con­vex mir­rors where ap­pro­pri­ate.

The pro­gramme had seen im­prove­ments made to 111 prop­er­ties in the Ti­maru area.

It fo­cused on sep­a­rat­ing play ar­eas from drive­ways and en­sur­ing play ar­eas were di­rectly vis­i­ble and ac­ces­si­ble from main liv­ing ar­eas.

‘‘On av­er­age, around five chil­dren in New Zealand die from drive­way run-overs ev­ery year and sadly, it is of­ten a fam­ily mem­ber who is be­hind the wheel. Tod­dlers who are out ex­plor­ing are par­tic­u­larly at risk.’’

Hous­ing NZ ten­ant Jo Jack­son, who has five chil­dren, said Hous­ing NZ put in a fence and gate around her chil­dren’s play area about two months ago.

‘‘I was wor­ried my kids would open up that gate [out to the road] it was just a wee latch,’’ she said.

It was ‘‘way safer’’ now, Jack­son said.

Four in­jured in col­li­sion

Four peo­ple were taken to Ti­maru Hos­pi­tal with mod­er­ate in­juries af­ter a two car col­li­sion on the Orar­iRan­gi­tata High­way/State High­way 1, near Orari about 11.30am on Sun­day. A po­lice com­mu­ni­ca­tions spokes­woman said four peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter the crash near the south bridge. One of the ve­hi­cles had come to a stop down an em­bank­ment, she said. The road was blocked in both di­rec­tions for a pe­riod with di­ver­sions on State High­ways 72 and 79, she said.

Boil wa­ter no­tice is­sued

A boil wa­ter no­tice was is­sued for those us­ing South Can­ter­bury’s Te Moana wa­ter sup­ply from Satur­day. Ti­maru Dis­trict Coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Stephen Do­ran said due to re­cent weather con­di­tions, con­sumers are ad­vised to boil all wa­ter for hu­man con­sump­tion un­til fur­ther no­tice. ‘‘It will be ac­tive till about mid week once tests come back clear,’’ Do­ran said.

PHOTO: DOUG FIELD/STUFF

As­tle Holden, 11, and Casey Holden, 3, be­hind a gate that was in­stalled by Hous­ing New Zealand.

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