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Govt inaction places lives in danger

Govt inaction places lives in danger

Sandra Goudie - MP for Coromandel

The Government should top up surf life saving funding for the Coromandel’s famous Hot Water Beach to prevent a growing list of tourist drownings, says National MP for Coromandel Sandra Goudie.

“Hot Water Beach is in danger of becoming more famous for its drownings than its hot water unless a solution is found to prevent tourist drownings. A shortfall in lottery funding this year means a lack of lifesavers to watch the beach.

“In light of the Coroner’s report the Tourism Minister must address this issue as Hot Water Beach is promoted as a tourism destination. More than 100,000 tourists are visiting Hot Water Beach a year, and seven out of the eight drownings at this beach in the past seven years have been tourists.

“The Government has topped up lottery funding shortfalls to arts and culture.

“It must do the same with surf life saving to prevent more lives being lost. Surely it can find another $1.5 million to ensure life saving services can meet the need.

“Local bodies and other organisations cannot afford to fund lifesavers or take liability for loss of life, but Water Safety New Zealand and surf life savers say tragedies are likely to continue unless more funding is found.

"The Prime Minister and her Ministers have ignored requests to address this issue with water safety leaders. She must justify why she will top up lotteries funding in some areas but not in saving people’s lives on the beach,” Mrs Goudie said.

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