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Water Safety New Zealand

Calling on Government to make urgent changes to life jacket legislation.

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Release-Request to save lives



• Water Safety New Zealand is calling on the government to make urgent changes to

regulations requiring everyone on small boats to wear a life jacket.


• Water Safety New Zealand have directly requested these life-saving changes to

the minister of transport Hon. Michael Wood multiple times in the last 6 months.


• Since Water Safety New Zealand last contacted the minister in August there have

been another 16 drownings. 10 of these occurred on boats and may have been

prevented by wearing a lifejacket.


Urgent Changes Needed

So, how much longer do New Zealanders have to wait, and how many more lives must be lost before we can all agree to affect this important change?

Water Safety New Zealand are asking all media outlets to please put your collective

weight behind our life-saving request to the Government to make urgent changes to

regulations requiring everyone on boats under 6m to wear a lifejacket.


Current legislation only requires the skipper of the boat to have correctly fitting

lifejackets on board. This simply is not adequate and is responsible for more New

Zealanders losing their lives unnecessarily.


Our CEO Daniel Gerrard has once again written to the minister requesting these urgent

changes and we need your help to put pressure on the government to save lives.


“Summer 2022 is now upon us, and since I last wrote to you there have been 16 drownings. 10 of these occurred on boats and may have been prevented by wearing a lifejacket. Such tragedies could be avoided if you and your fellow Ministers agree to introduce the legislation that all persons on recreational vessels of six metres or less in length be required to always wear personal flotation.”

More New Zealanders Will Die


The NZ Coastal & Water Safety survey (2022) affirmed the overwhelming support of

the public (93% agree) and boat owners (90% agree) alike, that wearing a lifejacket

should be universally mandated. Yet we continue to lack Parliamentary support, to

resolve the inconsistency in lifejacket regulations.

So, how much longer do New Zealanders have to wait, and how many more lives must

be lost before we can all agree to affect this important change?


Water Safety New Zealand would be immensely grateful for your support and Daniel

Gerrard can be contacted for comments, interviews and media engagements directly

at daniel@watersafety.org.nz or at 027 478 1836.



Letter - Minister of Transport - Lifejacket - November '22
.pdf
Download PDF • 196KB

Letter - Minister of Transport - Lifejackets - August '22
.pdf
Download PDF • 694KB




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