Tag Archives: safety

Keeping Ourselves Safe Parent Meeting

Over the next few weeks in your child’s class we will be teaching the unit Knowing What to Do; Me Mōhio Kia Pēhea. This is part of the personal safety programme Keeping Ourselves Safe.

Keeping Ourselves Safe has been designed to give children the skills to cope in situations involving abuse.

It has three overall aims:

  • to develop and strengthen children’s skills to keep themselves safe with other people;
  • to support and encourage abused children to get help from caring adults;
  • to make teachers and parents more aware of the need to keep children safe from abuse by adults or other children.

Knowing What to Do; Me Mōhio Kia Pēhea will be taught by your child’s teacher, with help from the local Police Education Officer, Paul Stanko, as required.

To be successful, Keeping Ourselves Safe needs your help and support. Your child will have Home Book Activities to work on with you.

It is important that you participate as much as possible and talk to your child about what they have been learning. This will help reinforce the messages the school is giving, and help your child to use his or her new skills with confidence.

A parent and caregiver meeting will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday 9th March 2017
Time: 7.00pm
Venue: Matipo Primary School Staffroom

Please contact the school if you would like a pamphlet about the programme.

Safety After School

  • The school will supervise any children awaiting their parents for 15 minutes after school in the library and then up to another 15 minutes in the office foyer.
  • We take no responsibility for children who don’t come to the library or office and instead play outside.
  • We have had a recent spate of ‘missing’ children, where other parents have taken kids home with them, without the knowledge of their own parents.
  • When a child is reported as missing, a major operation swings into action. Three to four staff will work the phones. Another group search the grounds and yet another group around the neighbourhood. After 40 minutes, we will ring the police and report a missing child and then a major police operation starts.

Staff all have other duties after school, their day does not finish with the bell and tying up approximately 10 – 12 staff because someone has decided to take a child home without notifying the teacher, parent or school is unacceptable.

  • Another recent trend is to let the kids play on the playgrounds after school with their parents. In the event of an accident, the school is asked to provide medical assistance. We would respectfully ask that the grounds be cleared immediately after school. The legal position is a bit lengthy to explain but under the new Health & Safety Act, the school could potentially be held responsible for actions beyond our control.



  1. Please be on time to pick up your children.
  1. Don’t take anyone else’s child home with you unless you have permission from that parent.
  1. Please clear the grounds as soon as possible after school.

Parking Problems

Once again we’re receiving complaints from neighbours about parent parking at pick-up and drop off times. This time the complaints are coming from Raupaki Place, but the following guidance applies to all parking around the school, Raupaki Place, Matipo Road, Taikata Road, Crieff Place and Renata Crescent.

  • Do not park across driveways
  • Do not park IN driveways (this complaint is a lot more common than you might think)
  • Do not park on footpaths
  • Do not park on the yellow no parking lines
  • On the narrow cul-de-sacs do not block the turning circle
  • Do not park within 6m of an intersection

These are the main complaints we receive about parking, but you should also check the Road Code to see a full rundown of parking rules.

Other tips worth remembering:

  • Don’t forget the 40km/h school zone speed limit. An adult pedestrian struck by a vehicle at 40km/h has a 70% chance of survival while at 45km/h has only a 50% chance of survival. Children have even worse survivability figures.
  • Model correct behaviour for your children – use the crossing, don’t dart out from in between parked cars. Don’t beckon your child to run across the road from the drivers seat.
  • Don’t yap on your cellphone while driving through the busy school traffic. The adults monitoring the crossings can see you doing it. Recent studies show talking on cellphones while driving is just as dangerous as driving over the alcohol limit.
  • Consider not even using the car! Matipo has an excellent mostly flat or gentle slope catchment. Let your kids walk or cycle!
  • Remember that this is all for the safety of YOUR children!

We’ve requested that Auckland Transport send parking wardens to do some enforcement, remember the easiest way to avoid a ticket is to park legally and sensibly!

Stranger Danger Alert

There was a very credible report of an attempted abduction of a child yesterday afternoon about 4pm on Matipo Road.
A dark coloured car – last 2 numbers of the licence plate was ’14’ – driven by a young Indian male, approached a boy and told him that ‘his mother had asked him to pick up the boy and take him home’.
The quick thinking boy ran to the dairy to seek help. The police were called and are investigating this matter further.

Unwanted approaches to children increasing in Waitakere

An increase in “suspicious approaches” to children in West Auckland has police urging schools and families to go over safety skills with students.

The latest incident was shared in a post on social media stating a young girl had been grabbed by a man when walking home from kapa haka practise at Edmonton School at about 4.05pm on June 18.

The man grabbed the girl’s wrist on the corner of Vodanovich Rd and Amberley Ave in Te Atatu South forcing the girl to yank her arm from his grip and run home.

Waitemata Police Detective Senior Sergeant Roger Small says the young girl did the right thing by pulling away from the man and leaving. Police are working with the girl’s family.

Small says police have seen an increase in the reporting of suspicious approaches or unwanted attention towards children in the district.

“It is key these incidents are reported to us, we investigate all such incidents no matter how little information we receive.

“We collate intelligence which helps us to build a comprehensive database.”

Click to read the full article.


Opening young eyes to darker side of online world

A useful article on online safety from the NZ Herald.


The online chat starts when a man writes “heya” to 13-year-old Katie.

Questions like “where u from?” and “what sites do you use?” gradually progress to blushing emoticons, “lols” and flattery when a request for photos is granted.

More than 100 exchanges later, the tone darkens. “do u smoke”, the man asks. “ru a virgin”, “how far have u been wif boys” and, “touching where?”

The conversation was real but fortunately Katie isn’t. “She” was actually Brett Lee, who has worked as a senior detective in the Queensland police charged with combating online paedophilia.

For the last five years of his service Mr Lee, who’s in New Zealand speaking to schoolchildren about online safety, was a specialist in the field of undercover internet child exploitation investigations.

For thousands of hours the 49-year-old assumed fictitious identities of young people on the internet – and has spent more time being a teenager online than any real teenager.

His work meant numerous adults were arrested for trying to prey on children, mostly in Australia but also in joint operations with NZ police.

Each day Mr Lee’s online identities would be approached by dozens of potential offenders, and he would choose those he felt were most dangerous to talk with.

One used encryption software to hide his identity, but, like the rest, was traced and caught.

“The internet provided an environment they’d never had an opportunity to have before and they had access to thousands of children under what they thought was a cloak of invisibility,” Mr Lee said. “The screen is brilliant at giving a feeling of anonymity … that’s why a lot of people make choices online that they wouldn’t make in the real world.”

Mr Lee spoke to the Weekend Herald yesterday before talking to Year 7 and 8 pupils (11- and 12-year-olds) at Diocesan School for Girls on online safety and cyberbullying.

A false sense of anonymity and disconnect from real world sensibilities contributed to both problems, Mr Lee said, and realising that went a way to safeguarding children and teens.

“A young child sends a threatening email to another child. The only thing they’re going to imagine is the child reading it, not the hundreds of other scenarios that could cause their anonymity to be undone.”

Diocesan principal Heather McRae said the school wanted to take a lead on addressing cyber safety and bullying, as issues often became apparent at school before the home. “[Teenagers] are so vulnerable in the years that they are putting together their self-identity and who they are.

“And some of the more vulnerable ones do seek that external feedback, but of course the internet is such a random and unmonitored place … and it is an unmitigated disaster for students who are very sensitive.”

Mr Lee, who has also worked with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security Cyber Crimes Centre in the United States, said online safety had improved in many ways, and that six years ago the definition of cyberbullying was largely unknown.

He has four children aged between 10 and 19 and laughed when asked if they were allowed to be online.

“They are, whether I want them to be or not, they would be there. I appreciate that even with what I’ve seen, the internet is a very positive environment. It just reflects the real world.”

But there is also a greater need for vigilance. A survey revealed 73 per cent of Year 7s and 8s at Diocesan had their own smartphone. The school is private, but the tumbling price of such technology meant it was becoming more popular with young people from all backgrounds, Mr Lee said.

“Back in 2001 everyone in the family used the one computer, no kids had computers in their bedrooms. The technological factors are making the education more important now.”

Facts about the School Hall Debate

In response to the Te Atatu Peninsula community Facebook thread which many will have read, these are some factual answers to some of the statements made:

That we have known maximum numbers for years.

The letter received from the Fire Service dated 3rd February 2014 was the first we knew of any specific number limit.

That we put children’s lives in danger.

We immediately stopped any singing and formal assemblies in the hall until further notice.

What actions did we take?

We immediately contacted the Ministry of Education and our property consultant. The property consultant contacted our architect and a fire engineer. A remedial plan is being formulated.

Why did we put it in the newsletter?

Because we believe in transparency and parents had been asking why we were no longer having singing assemblies. The explanation in the newsletter was factual, accurate and professional.

That the Board and the Principal are neglecting the safety of children at Matipo.

This is absolutely farcical. Not only did we immediately take the actions described above, we are currently consulting on a new policy on protecting children from paedophilia, we are constantly on about child safety on bikes and scooters and parental parking issues which endanger children’s lives.

Stepping Out

As part of this term’s Inquiry topic “I am a Safety Expert” the New Entrant syndicate spent this week learning about road safety.  Constable Rob came in each day to teach us about sneaky driveways, crossing the road and sensible behaviour in the car.  The highlight of the week was trying on Police uniforms, listening to the sirens and going for a long walk.