Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Record Low Drowning Toll But Children’s Deaths Concern

Record Low Drowning Toll But Children’s Deaths Concern

Eighty-one people drowned in New Zealand waters in 2013 – down from 98 in 2012 and the lowest number since records began in 1980.

But while the overall decrease is promising, five pre-schoolers drowned last year – up 67% on 2012. And the number of 5-14 year olds that drowned – at six – is double the five-year average (three) and equal to 2012.

Water Safety New Zealand CEO, Matt Claridge, says it’s reassuring that the toll is heading in the right direction, but an increase in the number of pre-schoolers drowning – and no drop in the 5-14 year old toll – is of concern.

“Overall, it’s great that the toll is tracking down but eighty-one deaths is still a huge number ranking us amongst the worst in the developed world. And no pre-schoolers should be drowning in this country. Kids under five should be within arms reach of a parent or caregiver at all times in, on, and around water.

“Initiatives such as Sealord Swim for Life and the Plunket bath mat campaign have never been more important. If we are to achieve a cultural change in behaviour around water, it’s crucial that we up-skill Kiwi kids with swim to survive skills at school age, and later through Day Skipper and other initiatives.”

Matt Claridge says for every drowning, another 1.8 people (on average) are hospitalised due to near or non-fatal drownings.

“This is of huge concern and comes at considerable social and economic cost to the community long-term.”

Men – at 62 or 77% of 2013’s drownings – continue to be over represented in the drowning toll.

Kiwi blokes are a priority area for New Zealand’s water safety sector and a huge amount of work is being done by organisations such as Maritime New Zealand, Coastguard and Surf Lifesaving New Zealand to change behaviour in, on and around water, says Matt Claridge.

Mr Claridge says Water Safety New Zealand will continue to lead the sector towards reducing the drowning toll further in 2014 by targeting priority groups such as men, the parents of under 5s, and recreational beach and river users.

“We need to halve the number of men drowning and reduce the pre-school toll to zero – but all New Zealanders need to play a role in achieving this.

“There’s no room for complacency when it comes to water safety. I’m sure all New Zealanders would agree that eighty-one deaths is eighty-one too many.”

As at 8 January 2014 there have been four drownings in New Zealand so far this year.

Other National 2013 Statistics


• 20 – or just under a quarter of drownings – occurred while the victims were taking part in watersports. 16 of these deaths occurred while swimming.
• The number of land-based fishing drownings were consistent with the five year average at eight deaths.
• Powered boat deaths at eight, were down significantly on the 2012 total of 18.
• Gisborne and Tasman were the only regions where no drownings occurred in 2013.
• Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Northland, Bay Of Plenty and Otago were the five regions that had an increase in drownings in 2013. Otago had the greatest percentage increase, up 200% from two in 2012 to six in 2013. Northland had the greatest amount increase, up 83% from six in 2012 to 11 in 2013.
• In 2013, the greatest number of drownings occurred at beaches (19), followed by rivers (18) and offshore (11).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news