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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.

2023 / 2024

Funding community initiatives

Contestable funding round

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 focussed community capability where the risk is greatest.

Community Investment

This funding is possible thanks to the support of Sport New Zealand, the Lotteries Grants Board, ACC and Protector Safety. 2023/24 is the last year in a three-year funding agreement with these organisations. This means that a similar level of funding, approximately $2m, is available to invest in community initiatives.

Thanks to Partner Support

Whilst this might appear to be a reasonable amount of resource, history tells us that applications for funding will far exceed the amount available. So, if you are applying, please ‘put your best foot forward’. The strongest applications will be those that are aligned with a priority, demonstrates a good understanding of the ‘at risk’ group being targeted and what drives their risk, and can show that their intervention is a cost-effective way to reduce this risk.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Apply via the Kia Maanu Kia Ora putea

Māori water safety education


Apply via the Drowning Prevention fund



Apply via the Drowning Prevention fund

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


Apply via the Drowning Prevention fund

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


Apply via the Drowning Prevention fund

Targeted interventions for overrepresented groups, activities, and environments


Apply via Water Skills for Life funding

Water Skills for Life


Funding Priorities

When thinking about these priorities, please take the time to review the 2022 Drowning Report. This contains specific information about who’s drowning, what were they doing and where they were that will help refine interventions to ensure that they are focussed on reducing the areas of highest risk.


Application processes for 2023/24

Three application processes have been set up to better cater for the range of work expected in the response to the funding priorities. Please click on the links below for more information about each application process.

Apply Here

2023/24 Water Skills for Life Fund

The 2023-2024 Water Skills for Life funding round closed on the 11th of August.


2023/24 Kia Maanu Kia Ora putea

The 2023-2024 Kia Maanu Kia Ora funding round closed on the 11th of August.


2023/24 Drowning Prevention Fund

The 2023-2024 Drowning Prevention funding round closed on the 11th of August.

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