Stunt jump dumped after kids hurt

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 09:29 11/07/2014
kidzone
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/ Fairfax NZ
ONE GIANT LEAP: Brianna Muir, leaps off the stunt jump at Kidzone yesterday before the event was pulled out amid safety concerns.

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A major attraction at Southland's Kidzone festival has been axed after two children were injured.

The highly anticipated stunt jump was dismantled yesterday after ILT Kidzone festival organisers shut it down because of safety concerns.

Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson said the senior management team made the decision to pull the attraction after a boy was taken to hospital and a girl sprained her ankle.

"We have got issues with height and weight and we have decided that we can't afford any issues."

More than 1000 people made the plunge off the 6-metre platform, he said.

On Wednesday, a 6-year-old boy was taken to hospital. He was still there last night. Casson said he broke his leg after jumping off the platform and landing on the inflatable mat incorrectly.

Yesterday, a young girl sprained her ankle, Casson said.

The jump had been extremely popular and it was disappointing to scrap the event, he said. It was the big surprise at the festival, which is celebrating its 10th year of operation.

The jump is owned by Funco Promotions. General manager Les Clark said all precautions had been followed and the activity was actually a safety device.

Staff issued safety recommendations to the children using it and it was rare for there to be any injuries, he said. "He [the 6-year-old boy] failed to carry out the instructions he was given."

Clark said parents should not be concerned about the jump and the company took incidents such as Wednesday's seriously.

He told The Southland Times, ahead of the decision by Venture Southland to pull the event, that the media would ruin the event by reporting on it and hung up.

WorkSafe New Zealand communications adviser Julian Robins said it had been formally notified and was making initial inquiries.

ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said she was unable to comment on how many claims there had been as a result of Kidzone, because it depended on whether parents mentioned the festival in the paperwork.

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- The Southland Times

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