8 May 2018
Many children have benefitted from safer car seat installs thanks to two free car seat checking events in Wellington on
The events, at the Royal New Zealand Police College and the Upper Hutt City Council carpark saw expert child restraint
technicians offer free installations, anchor bolts and advice in two 3 hours slots.
Child Restraint Technician Sergeant Bruce Wilson, a Director of Cheeks in Seats, a small national charity who organized
the event said “It was great to be able to support our communities by offering free impartial and non judgmental car
seat checks to parents and caregivers. From all the car seats checked there was a 91% error rate. These included common
installation errors, such as tethers not in use, through to expired seats. A very small number of seats checked had no
The events, which came just before the start of Road Safety week 2018, were well attended, with the Mayor of Upper Hutt,
Wayne Guppy and member of Parliament Chris Bishop and Bret Hudson, National party Assistant Spokesperson for Transport
and Spokesperson for Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Claire McGowan, a Child Restraint Technician from Dunedin and Director of the charity who had traveled to help run the
event, said “It can be really daunting for parents to try and install a car seat for the first time and it’s reassuring
when we are able to help make small but important corrections to ensure children travel as safely and securely as
possible. When we provide education they are informed. Once we know better, we do better – it’s that simple”
Vita McCaul from Heretaunga, Wellington was one of a number of lucky recipients of a brand new car seat, after
technicians identified that her seat wasn’t suitable for the vehicle. Her old seat will be destroyed appropriately. The
ones removed that are suitable for other children will be used by the charity for other children in need.
Child Restraint Technician and charity Director Tanya Lonneker, who had travelled from Riverton to help run the event
said “We were delighted that Cheeks in Seats was able to make a contribution to the communities in Wellington and are
hopeful that we will be able to secure funding to hold similar events elsewhere in New Zealand later this year”.
If you want to donate to support the work Cheeks in Seats does, they have a Give a Little page: https://givealittle.co.nz/org/cheeksinseats