International Safe Community Re-accreditation

28.02.12

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Thank you to Dr Carolyn Coggan for your words and thoughts on Wellington's formal re-accreditation as an International Safe Community that unbiased and objective analysis is essential.

And as you say, safety is everybody's business.

Wellington City is proud to be an re- accredited as International Safe Community, number one-hundred. We will continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders to maintain our status as an International Safe Community

It's important for the City to be part of the International Safe Community family, so that we can share what works and to have a model to base our work on. Our safe city status is important for our residents and visitors from so many ethnicities.

City safety is also essential in telling the Wellington story to prospective overseas students, families thinking of moving here and businesses we're encouraging to set up in the capital.

Being an International Safe Community is reflected in the way we do our business. It is an important and valued part of our Long Term Plan.

I congratulate our Council teams in areas of urban design, road safety, city safety, water safety and housing projects. They set policy based on best practice, and they implement the best possible way forward for the benefit of all Wellingtonians

As Mayor I take a particular interest in the safety of all people - residents and visitors. I believe that it can achieved by taking a whole-of-council approach. It is not just in one area of policy, such as urban design or alcohol-free zones or better monitoring of trouble spots or our capacity to respond to community concerns.

Rather, it is all of the above. That combination's well appreciated by many, including perceptions of friendliness from our RWC visitors

And I am proud to lead a council with elected members and staff that believe in a collaborative, multi-agency mission to keep our people keep themselves safe.

Communities and collaboration

That collaboration relies on close cooperation with the many agencies who work alongside Council, some supported by Council grants.

In the past five years Council has cemented partnerships with Wellington Police, ACC, Capital and Coast District Health Board and others including Wellington Free Ambulance, which operates a triage centre on Courtenay Place with Council support.

The latter is an initiative that I have seen close up, and I am particularly impressed with the dedication of Wellington Free volunteers – often under some rather trying circumstances on Courtenay Place!

Beyond the Council and agencies there are so many people who – day in, day out – work to make the city safer for their neighbours and their communities. Especially, residents - in terms of passionate community patrols, neighbourhood support and WEMO volunteers - knowing your neighbours is great for a safe community every day as well as in emergencies. And also good Licensees - in terms of alcohol related harm and the work around the Capital Host Charter.

And I note that today, February 29th is also the end of Febfast.

Finally, while there are costs in being a safe community, the costs of inaction, in terms both of social and economic costs ate far higher!

To all of you, I say thank you.

You make Wellington a better – a safer – place to live, work and play

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