Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety with Sian Mareko



The small size of tamariki and their lack of judgment puts them at a greater risk of being injured or killed as pedestrians. Child pedestrian injuries can be severe or fatal, in some cases also resulting in life long disability. In New Zealand, more than six children are killed each year from a pedestrian-related injury. 

Walking is an important part of children's lives, providing social and community engagement, better fitness and wellbeing, and the opportunity to learn about the environment. Therefore, it is important to practise pedestrian safety to keep tamariki safe around roads.

Sian Mareko shares her story of searching for her father throughout her childhood, as well as her dream to reconnect to her Kiribati identity. Sian was born in England and raised in Kiribati until she was seven. Sian shares her experiences of travelling back to Kiribati in search of her father, as well as her experiences of caring for tamariki in her family who have become an integral part of her life.

Sian reflects on the fact that she became a mother figure to the children very suddenly, having adopted them from the extended family back in Kiribati. Sian shares her concerns for the children’s wellbeing and safety in particular when out and about on the roads. She discusses the fact that she would create a plan for how the children would get to school and that she accompanied them when crossing roads. When the children were at an intermediate age (10-12 years old) they were able to walk home and cross roads without an adult. They had been taught a walking plan and to follow a familiar route. When crossing the road with her tamariki, Sian made sure to teach them to wait for traffic to pass before crossing the road.

Sian’s story closes out with her talking about just how much her family means to her and the new sense of purpose she felt with the children in her life. Ko rabwa Sian, thank you for sharing your amazing story with us.  


Top Tips for Pedestrian Safety

Toolkit Resource

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