Western Heights set for a safety makeover

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FUN DAY: Western Heights Community Association Whanau Fun Day will be held at Turners Dr on Sunday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
FUN DAY: Western Heights Community Association Whanau Fun Day will be held at Turners Dr on Sunday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Western Heights, Pleasant Heights and Selwyn Heights communities are invited to four days of family fun and safety starting this Sunday.

Western Heights Community Association along with police, Safe Rotorua and Rotorua Lakes Council have organised four Whanau Fun Days in Pleasant Heights.

The days have been set up to highlight the significant safety issues facing residents and provide key information on how to make neighbourhoods a better place to live.

Neighbourhood Support chairman Bruce Quedley assisted with a community survey this year that identified six safety priorities; lighting, heating, smoke alarms, house alarms, fencing and neighbourhood support.

As a result a Neighbourhood Reinvigoration and Safe Houses campaign will be launched this Sunday.

Ira Matatau Rangatahi leadership co-ordinator at Te Waiariki Purea Trust and Western Heights Community Association member Maylene Meroiti said it had been excellent working collectively with multiple agencies in the community.

"Utilising our Ira Matatau Rangatahi leaders to plan and deliver the Whanau Fun Days and building awesome relationships with our Western Heights community whanau, we are excited with our next event," she said.

Western Heights Community Kai Roto Inside Out Reinvigoration and Safe Houses is on November 20 at Turners Drive Reserve from 1pm to 4pm. There will be Maara Kai activities, an art panel workshop, safety displays and information stalls plus giveaways.

The following three days from 5pm to 8pm there will be a street knock in Pleasant Heights and Gordon Rd. Whanau street leaders will lead the street knocks on Turners Dr, Leslie Ave, Thomas Cres and Gordon Rd and will accompany Safe Rotorua members visiting each whare to ask residents about the six safety priorities and healthy homes.

Rotorua Lakes Council sport and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley said: "We want to do as much as we can to support residents to achieve their goals of creating a prosperous and safe place to live.

"A highlight will be talking to locals about how to improve local parks such as Turner Drive Reserve because parks are community hubs that draw people together through whanau days or sporting events."

Ms Meroiti said strategies like this were designed to give families a strong voice.

"If you want free food, music, fun games, prizes and are passionate about supporting the Western Heights community in stage one of our Neighbourhood Reinvigoration and Safe Houses campaign then come along and get involved at the launch day and street knock."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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