Painter and decorator Eric Ross yesterday paints a metal safety railing which was added to this low bridge at the Dunedin Chinese Garden last month. Photo by Craig Baxter.
An incident during which a child fell into a pool at the
Dunedin Chinese Garden has sparked a full health and safety
review, and the need to increase staffing is likely to add to
financial pressures on the garden.
It was revealed yesterday that a child, aged about 5, fell
into the water at the Dunedin City Council-owned Chinese
Garden in January.
The child, who had been accompanied by a family member, was
A Dunedin City Council health and safety officer had since
reviewed health and safety arrangements, Toitu acting
director Jennifer Evans told a Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Board meeting yesterday. The Toitu museum took over running
the garden from July 1 last year.
A financial monitoring report tabled at yesterday's meeting
said there would be ''Chinese Garden staffing budget
impacts'' from the current health and safety requirement ''to
have three staff and not two at all times''.
A statement of financial performance also
tabled at the meeting showed that external operating revenue
for the garden was $185,000 for the first 11 months of the
financial year. This was $59,000 below the $244,000 budget
for the period.
Ms Evans said the initial consent for the garden had required
supervision of visitors, and the garden had at that stage
been given an exemption from the general requirement to fence
It was now a health and safety requirement for a third staff
member to be on duty at the garden, Ms Evans said.
Prompt action had been taken, a third staff member was on
duty and some safety railings were also installed, Ms Evans
At the meeting, some board members queried why an extra staff
member was needed, and asked if volunteers could carry out
the health and safety duties.
Ms Evans said the garden's health and safety obligations
could not be fully met by volunteers, and an extra staff
member was required.
The two main usual staff on duty were dealing with,
respectively, ticketing and running the shop.
Garden management had always taken supervision requirements
seriously, with volunteers helping and security staff
employed when large functions were held.
Many visitors had been at the garden on the day of the
accident and ''extra supervision'' had also been provided
Since then, further safety measures had been taken and
matters would be reviewed later.
''We take our health and safety very seriously,'' she said.