News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Delving deeper - Information from Water Safety NZ

Welcome to Delving deeper, Water Safety New Zealand’s new information and statistics newsletter. Research and information is a core part of creating and continuing efficient sector strategy into what is the third highest cause of accidental death New Zealand. We aim to produce this newsletter quarterly, and hope you find the information included valuable. Please pass it on to others whom you think might find it informative.

You have been sent this newsletter as you have been a subscriber to our WaterWise enewsletter. If you are not interested in receiving this, you are able to unsubscribe below.

Drowning fatalities - as at 25 November 2013

Information Review Group

The water safety sector’s Information Review Group (IRG) met 9 September 2013. The IRG’s primary aim is to:
• Identify, prioritise and address gaps in current data sources and build the current collection of data for the sector’s knowledge base;
• Review DrownBase information making appropriate recommendations on projects and interventions for the sector.
Over the coming months WSNZ will be contacting key organisations on behalf of the IRG to establish a combined sector knowledge repository, sector outcome measures, revise the current Drowning Report and work on enhanced mechanisms to distribute data to the sector. Should you want further detail please contact Alexander Brunt, General Manager on

Doctoral scholarship

Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is offering a 3-year PhD scholarship ($25,000 p.a. + negotiable costs) at the University of Otago. The candidate will conduct research that will support the Research Strategy of WSNZ. Applications have now closed and there will be an announcement made shortly.

More information on the PhD scholarship

Recreational boating drowning fatalities

WSNZ has been looking into the issue of lifejackets in recreational boating to find out what focus can be taken to produce the greatest value in saving lives and minimising injuries.

Under current rules, boats must carry enough appropriate lifejackets for the number of people on board. In addition, local councils may have their own bylaws expanding on this rule. For example, in Queenstown, everyone on board a craft smaller than 6m in length must wear a properly secured lifejacket at all times. Many local councils have less than 6m in length as the limit for mandatory lifejacket usage – is this the size that best incorporates the majority of drowning deaths?

Using DrownBase™ data, WSNZ completed an analysis of all recreational boating drowning fatalities for the 20 year period 01/01/1993 to 31/12/2012. For each fatality, the analysis identified gender ethnicity, age group, environment (e.g. river, lake beach, tidal waters, offshore), region, craft size/type and, where possible, whether other conditions (e.g. weather, alcohol or drug consumption) were a possible contributing factor.

A diagram of the summary of research and analysis can be found here – the majority factor in each category is highlighted in red. In the 400 recreational boating fatal drownings over the 20 year period that was analysed, 265 (66%) of the drowning deaths occurred in craft that were less than 4m in length; either non-powered (kayaks, rafts, etc) or powered. In 76% of these cases, a life jacket was not worn.

From this research and analysis, WSNZ has created a discussion paper on the subject of lifejackets that it is currently taking to relevant organisations in the sector. The discussion points are:
• Continue focus on skipper responsibility and education, particularly targeting:
1. NZ European males aged between 15-34 needing to wear lifejackets in craft less than 4m in length offshore and in tidal waters in the northern half of the North Island;
2. Ability to communicate distress following an immersion-type accident;
3. Weather and sea conditions;
4. Fitted level flotation for craft smaller than 4m;
5. Alcohol consumption.
• Advocate for legislation for mandatory wearing of lifejackets for craft smaller than 4m when underway.
• Advocate for industry support for fitted level flotation for craft smaller than 4m.
• Sign the Muskoka Accord (International principles for the wearing of lifejackets on recreational craft).

Next issue

Please let us know if there are any particular statistics you would like to see in this newsletter. Suggestions can be made to:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news