Water Safety New Zealand Chair
Welcome to the New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025, our collective approach to ensure everyone connects to and enjoys the water safely. Achieving this vision will address the drowning problem in our country. As New Zealanders and visitors, we enjoy some of the most magnificent waterways in the world. At the same time, they are not without risk and demand respect. Too many people needlessly lose their lives or are injured in, on or around the water.
Drowning is a preventable public health problem in Aotearoa New Zealand. Although overall rates have been trending down on a per capita basis over the last 20 years, our drowning toll remains stubbornly high. Each fatality comes with a social and economic cost, as well as a life cut short – often a young life. Many more can suffer a non-fatal drowning incident; often resulting in long-term consequences that leave families and communities devastated.
The New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025 commits sector partners to continue to work together towards common goals with greater impact and efficiency. This sector alignment will ensure maximum buy-in to the vision and mission of the water safety sector and will in turn support sector organisations to incorporate this strategy into their own plans.
The sector has developed aspirational goals, determined measurable targets, and agreed an action plan to achieve the sector outcomes. There has been strong collaboration during the development of this strategy. We now need to continue to work constructively together to implement, monitor and evaluate our action plan, so that we reach our vision “Everyone connects to and enjoys the water safely”.
As the lead agency of the sector, Water Safety New Zealand will drive the strategy’s implementation, and report back. The sector will also stand accountable for its results. However, no one organisation can make the step change alone. This strategy is our collective response
WSNZ Board Chair
Minister for Sport and Recreation