Honouring Those Who Keep the Capital Safe

17 October 2012

Professional lifesavers, police, baristas, superette workers, train operators, and community advocates all have something in common: they've been honoured as the heroes who help keep Wellington safe

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Wellington Police Area Commander Inspector Chris Scahill presented the eighth annual Wellington Safety in the City Awards at the Wellington City Council Chambers last night.

Mayor Wade Brown said the breadth of life experience in this year's nominees shows that anyone can be in the right place at the right time to save a life, or make a huge difference in the lives of many people.

"Anyone can make a difference if they are willing to put the safety of fellow Wellingtonians first," she said.

"This year we have honoured shop-owners who put their own safety in harm's way to stop a car-fire from getting out of hand on a busy shopping day, neighbours who tried to save a woman from a stabbing attack, and police who acted with considerable bravery in the line of duty.

"We also heard tonight how one of Wellington City Council's own lifeguards was travelling to work around 5.30am, saw a man in distress about to take his own life, and managed to talk him around from going through with it.

"It's stories like these that show real courage and compassion. They show a willingness to put other people first and make this city as safe a place as can be from accidents, violence incidents and self-inflicted harm. These Wellingtonians are all very worthy recipients of the 2012 Safety in the City Awards."

The community awards recognise people who have shown amazing bravery in a particular situation, or who have worked tirelessly to keep Wellington and Wellingtonians safe.

Wellington City was designated an International Safe Community in 2006, by the World Health Organisation. In February 2012, Wellington was re-accredited as a WHO Safe Community. Wellington is the only capital city in the world to currently have this status.

Eleven citations were awarded in total, including youth street art initiatives, cycle safety awareness, long service to Search and Rescue, and incidences involving near-drownings, car accidents, incendiary political protests, domestic violence, school bullying, attempted suicide and a heart attack.