Housing NZ installs childproof gates

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014
timaru housing new zealand fence childproof kimberley powell kate milton lillian liam
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
FENCED IN: Mother Kimberley Powell, left, thanks Housing New Zealand area manager Kate Milton, for the childproof gate that will help protect her children, Lillian, 2, Liam, 4.

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Housing New Zealand houses across South Canterbury have had child-safe gates installed.

The 11 gates, which require a two-part motion, have been installed as part of a national initiative due to the increasing statistics of children being hurt in driveways at home.

A further nine are to be completed shortly.

HNZ tenant Kimberley Powell moved into a property with the gate already installed.

With three children under the age of 10, it is a weight off her shoulders. "I can't wait for summer. I can leave the door open and not be worried they will run out onto the road."

Powell is always watching her children and said she is "paranoid" around driveways.

"If I am at my parents' house, where they have quite a steep driveway, and I am leaving one of my children behind, I make sure someone is holding onto them as I drive away," she said.

HNZ area manager Kate Milton said statistics showed that one child injury happened every second week and there were five child fatalities each year in driveways. She was pleased the department was on board to make their houses safer.

Milton is extremely cautious when going out of her own driveway onto a busy road and thought there could be nothing worse than having to deal with hurting a child. "Education on driveway safety is an important sector of our initiative."

Milton said that included pamphlets and talking about safe practices.

The new gates come at a cost of $2200 per property, and are to be installed at 13,000 properties across New Zealand.

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- The Timaru Herald

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