Water safety campaign launched

  • Nikki Kaye
  • Jonathan Coleman
Sport and Recreation ACC

Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and ACC Minister Nikki Kaye welcome Water Safety New Zealand’s campaign launch of ‘Stop and think before you go near the water’, which is supported by ACC.

“On average 103 people die in New Zealand waters each year. Water Safety New Zealand’s campaign reminds people to reflect on whether it really is safe to enter the water,” says Dr Coleman.

“Sadly drownings are largely preventable. Often the reason people get into trouble in the water is because they underestimate the risk and conditions, or overestimate their ability.”

Every year, 3 million people go to beaches, 1.5 million go boating, 1 million participate in swimming and over 630,000 go fishing, but New Zealand is among four OECD countries with the highest rate of drownings by population.

Men, especially young males aged 15-24 years, and small children feature prominently in the drowning statistics.

“ACC is investing $200,000 in the ‘Stop and think before you go near the water’ campaign, which will consist of a mix of advertising, including billboards, social media and radio ads over the summer,” says Ms Kaye.

“Having fun in and on the water is a huge part of the Kiwi summer, but it’s really important that we look after ourselves and others.

“Drowning statistics alone don’t tell the whole story. Behind the statistics is immeasurable trauma, pain and anguish for family, whanau and loved ones.”