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Water Safety New Zealand

Get Funded

Drowning is the leading cause of recreational death and the third highest cause of accidental death in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The water safety sector strategy, Wai Ora Aotearoa 2025: Navigating to a Safer Future, commits Water Safety New Zealand and sector partners to work collectively towards common goals with greater impact and efficiency to bring down Aotearoa New Zealand’s high drowning numbers. One of the ways that we can encourage greater collective action is through direct investment in initiatives.

2024 / 2025

Funding community initiatives

Water Safety New Zealand’s contestable funds invest in community-led initiatives that tackle the most pressing drivers of drowning in Aotearoa. By investing in this way, we aim to have a positive impact on the drowning rate over time and to build water safety focused community capability where the risk is greatest.

Community Investment

This funding is possible thanks to the support of Sport New Zealand, ACC, and the Lotteries Grants Board extending their support for another year. 

Thanks to Partner Support

We are taking a different approach for 2024/25. We won’t be calling for funding applications as usual. Instead, in this period of significant funding instability, we are choosing to focus on sustaining the critical water safety programmes already being delivered by those funded last year. We intend to do this by negotiating to extend existing funding agreements for well performing programmes. We are keen to do all that we can to ensure that existing well performing programmes are sustained so the gains made through past support are secured for the future. This is a one-off change for 2024/25 only. 


All programmes went through the contestable funding application process in 2023/24. Decisions were made by the Board of Water Safety New Zealand and endorsed by the Board of Sport New Zealand. This process confirmed that these programmes are well aligned with the funding priorities and were assessed as the most impactful and cost-effective interventions.


By choosing to support existing well performing partners for another year, we understand the impact on others and the risk that new ideas and opportunities that could potentially drive a bigger impact won’t be supported in 2024/25. But, given current uncertainties we believe that it is better to sustain and help strengthen existing programmes first before creating new relationships and actions. expectations. 


Existing funded partners will be contacted by Water Safety New Zealand to confirm the process. Once agreements have been renegotiated and decisions have been made, we will publish key information on this page to give the water safety community visibility of who is being supported, to what level, and the focus on each programme.

Approach for 2024/25

Māori water safety education


Reducing male drowning and improve decision making in the 15-34 age range

Programmes and tools that aids people’s awareness of the difference between their perceived competencies and real competencies

Targeted interventions for overrepresented groups, activities, and environments

Water Skills for Life

Funding Priorities

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