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Christchurch celebrates leading role in community road safety in New Zealand

14 October 2008

Twenty-five years ago Christchurch City Council took a lead in community road safety touring nationally its road safety education performance Roadshow - the largest theatrical event at the time to tour New Zealand.

What’s Done is Done, the story of Roadshow is the book about this innovative road safety campaign which in 1983 was seen by almost every school student in New Zealand.The book was launched in Christchurch today at The Court Theatre by members of the original cast and crew.

Roadshow 83 was performed in theatres, community halls and entertainment centres throughout the country, with hundreds of people being involved in its organisation through area committees and local authorities, says What’s Done is Done author and City Council road safety co-ordinator Susan Cambridge.

"Roadshow started in the Christchurch City Council and grew to become a national resource. When I inherited the archives of the NZ Roadshow Trust containing historical papers and photographs of the development of Roadshow, the filming and the show itself, I felt the story had to be told.

"The people involved with Roadshow and the Christchurch City Council deserve a lot of credit for the way community road safety developed in New Zealand.

"Roadshow was the start of community road safety in New Zealand. It led to the road safety co-ordinating committee in the Christchurch City Council which was the model used by NZ Transport Agency for community road safety in New Zealand," she says.

What’s Done is Done describes the setting up and developing of Roadshow in the City Council, the struggle for funding and the attempts to get recognition from government agencies.

Published by the NZ Roadshow Trust, What’s Done is Done is a story of innovative road safety education in which tears, laughter, music, songs, film and dance burst on to a stage in an explosion of information, argument and entertainment.

"Roadshow was a major theatrical event. John Densem’s script, songs and music, Doug Hamilton’s filming and Bryan Aitken directing of a team of professional, actors, dancers, singers and stage crew combined to provide road safety messages in an unforgettable format."

Ms Cambridge says the Roadshow Resource Kit was a major school road safety resource produced in collaboration with the Ministries of Transport, Education, Health and Justice and ACC. "It was still being used in schools 10 years after it was distributed."

The NZ Roadshow Trust continues to carry out community road safety in Christchurch and in New Zealand, supported by the Christchurch City Council.

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