24 Mar 2012

Housing NZ mulls advice on driveway deaths

12:12 pm on 24 March 2012

Housing New Zealand is reviewing the recommendations of a coroner who has suggested it build fences between its houses, after a toddler was run over in an unfenced driveway.

Eighteen-month-old Sirj-Michaels Siaea was accidentally run over and killed in an Amuri Place driveway in Otara in September 2010.

An Auckland coroner, Morag McDowell, has recommended that Housing New Zealand modify all its homes so driveways are separated and children have safe play areas.

Chief coroner Neil MacLean agrees, saying Housing New Zealand needs to do something to address the problem with driveways.

Judge MacLean says there have been 22 deaths as a result of being run over in a driveway since 2007 and there is a common theme to all of them.

Housing New Zealand asset development manager Sean Bignell says design guidelines are in place to address safety issues.

He says when building new state houses, driveways should have sight lines and clear visibility.