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Ashburton District is proud to be recognised as part of the Safe Communities programme, but we still recommend that you take a few steps to keep yourself, your family and your belongings safe.

Don’t give your full name, address, personal details or bank account information to people that you do not know or trust, especially over the phone, text or via e-mail.

Consider getting insurance – most people have car insurance, contents insurance and home insurance (if they have a property).

Call 111 and ask for Police when:

  • People are injured or in danger; or
  • There is a serious, immediate, or imminent risk to life or property; or
  • A crime is being or has just been committed and the offenders are still at the scene or have just left.

If you can’t decide if it’s a real emergency and you’re still worried, call 111 and ask the operator. They will help you work out what to do.

Reporting options for non-emergency situations are available via the Police Non-Emergency service

Alternative Police contacts for non-emergency situations can be accessed on the Police website or by calling 105.

You can also contact Neighbourhood Support this organisation aims to reduce crime and isolation through encouraging connections between neighbours.  It also helps to share information from police to help neighbours work together to keep their properties safe.  For newcomers or those living alone, Neighbourhood Support can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. It helps develop a sense of safety and friendliness.

Road safety

Failing to comply with Road Safety regulations can incur in penalties like imprisonment, loss of licence and/or disqualification and fines.

Keep in mind that getting charged with driving under the influence (this includes drugs or alcohol) can affect your eligibility to renew your work visa, your residency, permanent residency and citizenship application.

For more information visit this website

This is the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions.  Keep an eye on changes in traffic (high number of cars on the road, pedestrians, cyclists, holidays, parked cars), if there is road (bumpy or narrow areas, wet, icy or gravel surfaces, and signs) and weather conditions (rain, snow and ice, wind, fog and bright sunlight) and reduce your speed accordingly.

If you're over 20 years of age, you can have no more than two to three servings of alcohol if you are a man, and no more than one to two for a woman.  If you're under 20, you can't have any alcohol when driving.

Always keep in mind:

  • Plan not to drive if you plan to drink.
  • Ask bartenders for help getting home.
  • Don't be influenced by others.

Drinking and driving risk more than just losing your license. Stay safe, don't drink and drive.

Driving under the influence of medication or illegal drugs is dangerous and illegal. It can affect your perception and reaction time, cause fatigue, and put yourself and others at risk.

Don't drive when physically or emotionally impaired.

This can be described as feeling exhausted.  You might lose alertness, and this affects your mood, driving and the way you respond to risks.

If you feel drowsy, you might briefly fall asleep without realising it. Even these short “micro-sleeps” can be dangerous while driving. Imagine nodding off for a moment behind the wheel—it could lead to a collision if you don’t break in time.

Shift workers are at a greater risk of being affected by fatigue while driving. People who work long hours or irregular shifts are six times more likely to be in car accidents compared to those with regular schedules.

If you feel exhausted, you can reduce the risk of fatigue when driving by:

  • Taking a power nap of 15 to 30 minutes. It can be at work, before driving home or pull over somewhere safe, ensure the car is off and apply the handbrake.
  • Call a friend or family member to collect you from work.
  • Call a taxi.

Water safety

Do not get in the water if you do not know how to swim. There are swimming lessons for infants, children and adults available at EA Networks Centre (Sports facility).  Find out more information here

Keep an eye on your children if you are heading to a river or the sea, and if there are ponds around, like at the Domains in town or if you work on a farm.

If you are getting on a boat, in a kayak, or are going paddle boarding, you must wear a life jacket.

Unfortunately, the water quality of the Ashburton River is not suitable for humans or dogs to swim in, as there is a moderate to high risk of illness for swimmers and pets.

Rainwater may flush contaminants from urban and rural land into the waterways and this affects the quality of the river.  You can find more information about warnings in place on this website

Wakanui beach is a no-swimming beach, because of the steep slope close to the shore, there's a powerful current of water moving in a different direction than the surface. This current can pull you out into the sea.

It is a rocky and beautiful spot to see dolphins and, if lucky, penguins or seals, so keep your dogs on a lead and watch them from afar.