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Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is calling on Kiwis to think about water safety this Easter.

“Traditionally Easter is one of the last opportunities to take the boat out or head to our beaches, lakes and rivers before winter sets in” says CEO Jonty Mills.

Sadly, five people lost their lives in preventable drownings over Easter in 2012 and four in 2015. The average toll over the last five years is two preventable fatalities.

WSNZ wants everyone to keep water safety front of mind and to be responsible when taking part in water-based activities.

“If you’re boating wear a lifejacket and take two forms of waterproof communication. When fishing near water wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and look out for each other. Listen to local authorities and MetService before planning any activity” says Mills.

“April 1 is a full moon so tides will be high. Don’t take risks - if in doubt, stay out,” says Jonty Mills.

After rain, rivers can be extremely changeable and unpredictable. “If you’re on a tramp and a river looks high or fast moving take a different route. You may lose time, but it could save your life,” says Mills.

Never swim alone and use caution around our waterways. Last year 31 people died in accidental immersion incidents. These were people who had no intention of being in the water.

In 2017 seven toddlers fatally drowned. So far this year there have been none and WSNZ would like to keep it that way. Babies and toddlers need to be under constant active adult supervision at all times around water.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves safely this Easter. Our waterways are our playground but they can be unforgiving. Taking a minute to think about water safety could save your life or the lives of your loved ones,” says Mills.

 For media enquiries please call Ben Christie on 021770285


Jonty Mills – CEO

Jonty joined Water Safety New Zealand in 2016. Previously he had spent more than 20 years in communications and external affairs leadership, operations and business development roles. He brings expertise in stakeholder management to CEO and ministerial level, with a blend of private and public sector experience.   A long-standing member of BP's Senior Leadership team and media spokesperson Jonty has a background of leadership roles in marketing, operations and business development across commercial and retail business channels.  During his time at BP, he was responsible for managing the company’s community partnerships – including Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Young Enterprise Trust and Royal Society of New Zealand – and has experience in advocacy as the interface between BP and central and local Government. He also helped embed safety as the number one priority and value across the organisation and is a strong advocate for Water Safety New Zealand’s core values and strategic direction.   027 478 1836 

Water Safety New Zealand Hoping for a Drowning Free Easter Weekend

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