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Rotorua mayor shocked and saddened by hot pool death

Rotorua mayor shocked and saddened by hot pool death

Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters says he, councillors and council staff are shocked and saddened at the news that an eight year old boy has tragically died after falling into a hot thermal pool in Rotorua’s Kuirau Park on Boxing Day.

“The thoughts of all Rotorua residents are with the family of the boy today. It’s an extremely sad way to end the year and we send our sincerest aroha to the family at this difficult time.”

Mr Winters said hundred of thousands of people visit Kuirau Park every year and incidents around hot pools were thankfully very rare.

He issued a plea to parents and guardians everywhere to know where there children were at all times, especially when visiting attractions that have the potential to be dangerous.

Rotorua District Council parks & recreation manager Garry Page said he could not recall any loss of life involving children in Kuirau Park’s hot pools in recent years although there had been some incidents involving adults.

He said the council regularly reviewed its safety warnings and precautions around hot pools in city parks and new checks were immediately carried out once they became aware of this accident. Those checks had revealed that all fences and signage remained in tact.

“It is very evident by the steam and bubbling water that many of Rotorua’s pools contain very hot water. All hot pools in Kuirau Park are fenced off and warning signs are located throughout the park.

Mr Page said the council wanted to fully investigate the incident but had very little information to go on at this stage.

“Bystanders have reported that the youngster had climbed over a safety fence before entering the hot pool. We would be grateful to hear from anyone who can give us a detailed account of the incident so we can build a picture of what actually happened to see if there is anything to be learned from this horrific accident.”

Mr Page urged all parents to keep a close eye on youngsters at all times around water and he said the safety message was so much more important when taking youngsters to view geothermal features such as hot pools and mud pools.

“It’s important to take note of the messages on warning signs and to stay outside of safety fences at all times.

ENDS

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