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Education and Training

  • Develop an Under-Fives Action Plan including expanding existing initiatives and developing effective campaigns to improve whakapapa/ attitudes and beliefs, mātauranga/ the knowledge and tikanga/ behaviours of parents and  caregivers.
  • Make Water Skills for Life and water safety education an integral part of children’s and young people’s learning through the Health and PE Curriculum. Embedding programmes into environment, aquatic activities and sports related practices, to make water safety skills training fundamental to ‘real life’ experiences and to influence a culture change around water.
  • Develop Māori water safety education programmes that reflect Māori values and aspirations and strengthen the connection to wai/water.
  • Focus on reducing male drowning and improve decision making in the 15-34 age range.
  • Implement programmes and provide tools that aid people’s awareness of the difference between their perceived competencies and actual competencies.
  • Focus on reducing 50+ male recreational boating drownings via improved decision making and risk awareness.


Data, research and insights

  • Establish fit for purpose data collection methodologies with sector organisations and government agencies to improve evidenced based decision making.
  • Work with organisations to strengthen the consistent reporting of water related incidents, injury and hospitalisation.
  • Establish and agree definitions and protocols around data capture and use. Establish data hygiene, sharing, management, privacy, data sovereignty, and ethical use.
  • Use centralised data to develop evidenced based insights into water safety interventions.
  • Develop appropriate prevention strategies in conjunction with public health officials and suppliers to the sector.
  • Form a repository of Aotearoa New Zealand and international research on drowning prevention, water safety and water competency so that information is collected at a single point and is easily accessed and disseminated.
  • Highlight data and research gaps. Undertake and fund culturally appropriate research that is prioritised and focused on key issues. Engage with the research findings to develop, implement and evaluate new initiatives.
  • Promote the citing and use of Aotearoa New Zealand research both locally and internationally.
  • Acquire new participation and other data sources for benchmarking and indexing risk and deriving insights.


Communication, collaboration and partnership

  • Develop agreed sector position statements for key issues, building consensus across the sector, underpinned with consistent policies and communications.
  • Collaborate on shared opportunities of national significance, through both traditional and digital channels.
  • Develop a sustainable approach, partnering and collaborating with Māori on water safety and drowning prevention, reflecting the partnership principle of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Expand joint sector strategic planning activities and deliver greater cross-sector integration and effective outcomes.
  • Complete the implementation of the Regional Strategy pilots and develop a Fresh Water Strategy for the sector.
  • Targeted interventions are in place for overrepresented groups, activities and locations.
  • Open discussion and collaboration with the Pacific region regarding establishing tuakana-teina /mentoring relationship pathways for three New Zealand Pacific Territories and three Pacific region Islands by 2025.
  • Engage and collaborate with organisations that have a significant role to play but may not have a major water safety or drowning prevention focus.


Leadership, advocacy and influence

  • Water Safety New Zealand will lead the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the sector's strategic actions in conjunction with sector agencies.
  • Water Safety New Zealand will lead and advocate agreed sector positions for key policy statements.
  • Ensure the sector is financially sustainable to achieve its mission, and multi-year funding from government is secured in perpetuity.
  • Ensure the water safety sector structure, form and function is considered as part of the Ministry of Transport's sector review.
  • In partnership with the sector organisation’s Māori advisors, Water Safety New Zealand will develop the water safety sector’s strategic direction for Māori, and will support the development of the sector’s capability to work with Māori.
  • Develop a water safety sector local government engagement strategy that focuses on relationship building and engaging with local government planning.
  • Engage with central government to develop a greater shared understanding of how we can work together for the public good of water safety and drowning prevention.


Frontline prevention, search and rescue

  • Continue to evolve each organisation's structure and services individually to meet the changing needs of the community and ensure they are fit for purpose.
  • Strive to develop 'step change' initiatives, particularly in prevention that can focus on target areas without letting slip what is currently being achieved (e.g. via technology).
  • Frontline agencies will develop their capability for working in partnership with Māori and other high risk groups and ensure their service delivery is effective for all.
  • Improve support and resourcing for volunteer workforces to ensure the frontline services that depend on them can be maintained.
  • Continue to exploit and look for new opportunities where greater cross-agency collaboration can achieve better operational outcomes.




Maintaining our focus and commitment


















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