Graphic quake ads not shown in Canty

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 20/01/2014
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Should Cantabrians be spared graphic quake safety adverts?

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Graphic cinema advertisements on earthquake preparedness are airing everywhere in New Zealand - except Canterbury.

The quake-shattered region now has its very own tailor-made campaign, sensitively cushioned for those still struggling to cope with quake stress.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) "Fix. Fasten. Don't Forget" public education advertisements have been running since November.

Canterbury was excluded from the campaign last year after mental health advocates raised concerns the hard-hitting advertisements could negatively effect quake survivors. Canterbury-specific television adverts kicked off yesterday.

In cinemas around the country, Kiwis watch as a man puts a baby in a cot near a large free-standing wardrobe and then leaves the room. As the camera draws out, the text reads: "In an earthquake, your wardrobe can fall with the impact of a concrete block."

Cantabrians are instead encouraged to quake-safe their homes by Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder and Student Volunteer Army co-founder Sam Johnson.

Tracey Harris, who lost her 8-month-old son Jayden in the 2011 earthquake, is also a face for the campaign. She urges Cantabrians to fasten down anything in their homes that could be dangerous.

Jayden, one of seven people killed in their homes in the quake, died when a television fell on him.

"I want people to fix, fasten and don't forget because I don't ever want another mother to go through what I did," Harris said.

Simon Robinson, who was injured when his chimney collapsed in the September 2010 quake, also fronts the advertisements.

The six-week campaign will include television, radio, print, internet, outdoor advertising and brochures.

EQC research and education general manager Hugh Cowan hoped the advertisements would encourage Cantabrians to "make their experience count".

Research showed Cantabrians were more quake-safe than other Kiwis but one recent survey found only 44 per cent had secured their tall furniture, he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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