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New funding from ACC for Māori water safety celebrated

New funding from ACC for Māori water safety celebrated at Auckland hui

A new partnership between Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) and ACC investing $1m over the next two years into kaupapa Māori water safety is being celebrated at a hui in Auckland.

Drowning of Māori in Aotearoa is a significant issue and presents risk for all whanau.
Māori are overrepresented in New Zealand’s annual drowning statistics. On average Māori account for over 20 percent of all preventable* and non-preventable drowning fatalities, despite comprising only 15 percent of the nation’s population.

ACC alongside WSNZ recognizes the need to collectively address the issues with the refresh of the Kia Maanu Kia Ora kaupapa (vision and purpose) to ‘be safe around water’.

A hui is being held in Auckland on Wednesday 30 October at the Vodafone Events centre in Manukau to acknowledge the progress made and to look to the future of Māori water safety.

At its heart, this new funded programme fully acknowledges the intimate connections Māori have with wai – the sea and landscape waterways. It is central to Māori identity, as a life-giving force for sustenance, health and wellbeing. Wai is considered a taonga (treasure) with physical and spiritual properties attached to it.

Kia Maanu Kia Ora kaupapa embodies these intimate connections to wai so that the Māori worldview of the physical and spiritual properties of wai are integral to water safety. It acknowledges that water safety is not merely about teaching water safety skills, but must start with a deeper understanding and respect for wai that is natural for Māori. This new approach has the potential to lead to more purposeful drowning prevention for all New Zealanders.

Monitoring and evaluation of Kia Maanu Kia Ora will be ongoing over the duration of the programme providing valuable insights into drowning prevention strategies from an education and instructional perspective across the age groups and water based activities.

The programmes being funded are:

Te Taitimu Trust: Our Way of Life will deliver a pilot water skills programme for 15 young parents of 30 2-4 year olds attending kohanga reo in Flaxmere.

This will lead to improved parental confidence, connectiveness and whanau resilience around water safety. Parents will develop knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to keep their tamariki safe in aquatic environments.

Te Taitimu Trust: Nga Mokopuna will organise and deliver a 10-day water safety road trip to the South Island in January 2020 and hold a wananga for 125 rangatahi, 60 adults and 10 Kaumatua.

The Te Taitimu Trust will promote Kia Maanu, Kia Ora water safety messages on the marae and to Maori communities. Participants will develop knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to be safe in aquatic environments and develop increased confidence about being role models for water safety.
The Te Taitimu Trust is a Whanau Ora initiative founded by Zack Makoare.

“Many of our hard to reach families don’t have the ability to spend much time in the rivers and moana as they used to 100 years ago. It is vital for our whanau to learn about safe practices around water” says Zack Makoare.

Also being funded is the continuation and expansion of Ngāti Porou Surf Life Saving Club water safety work, including:

• Ongoing recruitment from communities of Hicks Bay, Te Araroa, Ruatoria Tokomaru Bay, Kaiti and Gisborne
• Deliver and increase patrol support person awards

This will mean increased numbers of Ngāti Porou and community members with practical water safety knowledge and skills. Also increased Surf Life Guarding capability on the East Coast with the goal to reduce drowning rates amongst Māori within Ngāti Porou and the wider community.

The delivery of kaupapa Māori Surf Life Saving wananga to 100 children and 70 adults in Tairawhiti/Ngāti Porou East Coast region on:

• Swimming, waka ama, kaimoana gathering
• Tu papa - stand up paddling
• Whakaheke ngaru - surfing
• Rescue boat (IRB) and crewperson

Birds Eye View Consultancy will deliver a pilot kaupapa Māori swimming programme to 15 year 1 to 6 students from Waikirikiri School in Kaiti.

This will lead to improved accessibility to culturally appropriate swimming lessons for Māori students in Kaiti, and increased numbers of Māori students in Kaiti developing water safety and swimming competencies.

Te Waiariki Purea Trust (TWPT) will provide water safety skills programme for 120 children in years 1 to 8 attending schools that are remote or close to potentially hazardous waterways.

Students will develop knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to be safe in aquatic environments. Water safety programmes will also be integrated into existing TWPT programmes so students will develop knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to be safe in aquatic environments.

Moana Futures Ltd will deliver Mana Moana Tiaki programme with a focus on traditional tikanga related to kai gathering for marae events to 100 participants in the Ngati Wai rohe.

Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to be safe in aquatic environments and an awareness of the Maori values that are associated with the moana.

Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi will deliver three wananga with key knowledge holders in the Mataatua rohe to bring together ancestral stories and water safety messages through the medium of purakau.

This programme is based on localised place-based knowledges, ancestral stories and traditions with the goal of increasing awareness of, and respect for, the waters within the Mataatua rohe amongst local Māori.

There will also be 10 marae-based water-centric wananga at a range of Mataatua marae, where there will be collaborative learning about respect and responsibilities to water and the co-construction of strategies for future initiatives.

Also, five iwi/community events in Mataatua will be held to increase engagement of waka ama clubs and other Māori water user groups with the water safety kaupapa.

SplashSave are creating a refreshed pack for under-fives whanau led aquatic education alongside WSNZ Māori advisors with Te Ao Māori principles and learning theories at its heart.

This will be produced in both English and Te Reo with a view to establishing a distribution and engagement strategy in partnership with Te Kōhanga Reo networks.

The goal is whanau and teachers to understand the importance of water safety, active adult supervision of children around water and the developing of confidence around water.

Also being funded are the Raukawa Voyaging Trust’s diving safety programme in Wellington and Hawkes Bay.

The Ruatahuna Tuhoe ‘Water Skills for Life’ and river crossings programme in Bay of Plenty, and Paul Whatuira’s Internal Strengths programme for young leaders in Wellington.

At the heart of all these Kia Maanu Kia Ora intiatives is the importance of kaupapa Māori, localised place-based knowledge, ancestral stories and the reinforcement of traditions for culturally relevant delivery.

WSNZ CEO Jonty Mills says a new approach was needed to tackle the overrepresentaion of Māori in our drowning statistics. “We need to improve water safety outcomes for Māori and there’s a real need for culturally appropriate interventions created and delivered by Māori for Māori” says Mills.

The Māori advisors to WSNZ and leaders of the new Kia Maanu Kia Ora programme will this week be attending a Hui in Auckland on Wednesday 30 October at the Vodafone Events centre in Manukau from 10am to 4pm at 770 Great South Road, Manukau, Auckland.

In attendance will be Zack Makoare from The Te Taitimu Trust, Māori Water Safety advocate Rob Hewitt and others.

Media are welcome to attend and conduct interviews.

For media enquiries or to request an interview please call Ben Christie on 021770285 or email ben@watersafety.org.nz

*Preventable drowning fatalities are those where water safety sector intervention could have had an influence (for example where the victim was boating, swimming, diving) while non-preventable include events such as suicides, homicides and vehicle accidents (where water safety education and activity would not have prevented the death).


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