Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand and the University of Otago's Injury Prevention Research Unit hosted the biennial 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion ('Safety 2012') conference in Wellington.

The national organising committee continues to receive glowing letters and emails referring to the conference as ‘the best world conference they have attended’, no doubt in large part due to the exceptional organisation of the event.

Dr Carolyn Coggan, SCFNZ, Professor Hank Weiss, IPRU and John Beaglehole, ACC, conference organising committee co-chairs

Since 1974 New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has provided personal injury cover for all residents and visitors to the country. The no-fault system is a world-leading health initiative that makes redundant the right to sue for damages, taking away all the litigation, uncertainty, delay and cost that goes with it. Today New Zealand’s co-ordinated approach to caring for injured people and assisting their return to active and productive lives is focused on creating a culture of safety and prevention.

The challenge is to foster a safety culture without sacrificing New Zealand’s passion for action, adventure and exploration. A national Injury Prevention Strategy underpins the collaborative Government, business, research and community effort to prevent injuries. Against this backdrop ACC, Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand (SCFNZ), and the University of Otago's Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) hosted the biennial 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (‘Safety 2012’) conference in Wellington.

With 1000 attendees from 58 countries including exhibitors and speakers, the conference brought together the world's leading injury prevention and safety researchers, practitioners and advocates. The key theme ‘Connecting pathways for a vibrant and safer future’, reflected the need for policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to take a fresh, collaborative and holistic approach to dealing with and preventing injuries in the 21st century. With learning a top priority, scholarship recipients travelled from far flung destinations such as Bangladesh, China, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Argentina, and all flew Air New Zealand with ease.

The event, organised by Conference Innovators and including an exhibition and eight concurrent sessions, was staged across four Wellington venues; The Michael Fowler Centre, Te Wharewaka o Poneke, the Adam Auditorium and the Amora Hotel. Accommodation was spread over five central city hotels for a total of 1180 room nights in a city which boasts more than 2000 central hotel rooms.

A welcome reception on the first night was held in The Michael Fowler Centre Renouf Foyer, while the final conference dinner, a stand-up function dotted with seven food stations and a chill-out lounge, took place at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Diners were treated to a taste of the Pacific, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas including fresh oysters and seared tuna, Boerswors and Boboti, and quesadillas and chilli nachos, all accompanied by New Zealand wines.