He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service

Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service – He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July.

We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a new life, as we remember the tragic loss of life of our loved ones to the water. The hāpori continue to watch over everyone who lives here and believe that every life should reach its full potential.

Please RSVP by 15 July and help us bring to light the impact of drowning in our communities, here in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, across Aotearoa New Zealand and loved ones overseas.

Event format:

6:50am – 7:00am – Arrival
7:00am – 8:30am – Pōwhiri and dawn service
7:45am – 8:00am – Breakfast
Please join us singing [waiata] during the service.

Location:

31 Calthorp Close, Favona, Auckland 2024
Parking is available in the car park and adjacent roads.
The event will take place indoors and outdoors.

Ahakoa ko wai te tangata, ahakoa nō hea te tangata, ka waatea te marae mo te katoa.
No matter who you are, no matter where you are from, this marae is available for you

HE TAONGA TE WAI RSVP 2024

HE TAONGA TE WAI RSVP 2024

RSVP He Taonga Te Wai dawn event 25 July 2024

Please RSVP by completing this form before 15 July.

This question requires a valid email address.
5. Will you be attending our dawn service He Taonga Te Wai? *This question is required.
School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water.

Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with schools to implement drowning prevention competencies into existing educational experiences – providing teacher Professional Learning and Development resources and programme support.

Stanmore Bay School shares their story

Part-way down Auckland’s Whangaparāoa Peninsula, Stanmore Bay School is only minutes walk from Stanmore Bay and a short drive to popular beaches like Orewa Beach and Red Beach.

Knowing how accessible water is to their community, the school engaged with DPA in 2023 to upskill their teachers on aquatics education. But with their school pool out of action for the foreseeable future, they decided to focus on implementing water safety into their Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC) programme.

They began by working closely with DPA educators on what resources and key learning ideas would best suit their students. It was decided that a focus on beach safety would be appropriate.

“We live on a peninsula and the majority of our students go to the beach on a regular basis,” says Senior Leadership Teacher Robyn Bennett.

“Every second year we organise a surfing day at Orewa Beach for our senior students, it helps with supporting classroom relationship building and water safety.”

After an initial consultation with the school, DPA provided them with learning resources on rip currents and beach risks and hazards to implement into their beach day programme.

Students learnt how to spot a rip and what to do if they were caught in one, there were also hands-on activities to be done at the water’s edge.

“It’s a lot better to learn out here (at the beach) than in the classroom,” says Teacher David Wood.
“It doesn’t mean much to them until they actually get out here and make those connections. Also, its fun, they get to have a great time experiencing the beach with their friends.”

Parent Courtney Gallen, who was a helper on the beach day, was impressed with the learning she saw. “It’s great that the school are doing this, it’s really valuable as we are surrounded by water so the kids need to be confident in the water.”

Robyn Bennett is encouraging all schools to consider implementing water safety learning into their next school camp, field trip, sports day or any EOTC event.

“Do it!!” she says.

“It is part of the health curriculum and it can be so easily integrated into other areas of learning.”

If you would like more information on how Drowning Prevention Auckland can help you implement aquatics education into your Education Outside of the Classroom, please contact Helen Meyrick [email protected].

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He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there’s often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they’re actually capable of. The study tested adults’ swimming skills in a pool against their own perception of their ability. Adults were tested on entering and exiting the water, floating and swimming.

Even though most adults (98%) can’t swim more than 100 metres in open water, over half (59%) of the participants believed they were strong swimmers. Similarly, while 90% thought they could float, only 2% could float for more than 5 minutes. This shows that many adults may underestimate the risk of drowning and overestimate their competency, which could explain why so many adults drown.

Research Findings

Download and read the article ‘Perceived and real water competency and drowning risk among adults’ using the link below.

Water Competency

Water competency is a set of behaviours, skills and attitudes relating to water safety. Learn more about the 15 water competencies and check out the evidence base behind them.

eLearning module

DPA offers a free online learning module that covers practical ways for adults to be safer while enjoying popular water-based activities.

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He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Save the date: World Drowning Prevention Day 25 July

Save the date: World Drowning Prevention Day 25 July

Go blue for World Drowning Prevention Day!

Our country has one of the highest drowning rates in the developed world. Last year 90 families and communities in Aotearoa were heartbroken by this tragic loss of life.

Save the date for World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July and get your school, workplace or community to go blue. It is time to raise awareness and for everyone to learn how to stay safe in, on and around the water.

We are fortunate to enjoy the most stunning beaches, harbours, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. But we must learn to do so safely. Drowning is preventable. Take action to raise awareness and support drowning prevention initiatives:

 

  • Go blue and fundraise Get your workplace, school, or community group wearing blue for the day and raise money to help our work in preventing drowning.
  • Sign up for updates and free materials We will be in touch once our education and ‘Going Blue’ promotional packs are available (posters, balloons, stickers and bunting).

Fundraising Ideas:

  • Have a ‘going blue’ casual day or non-uniform day during the week of World Drowning Prevention Day in exchange for a donation
  • Run an educational event with morning tea and invite a gold coin donation at the door
  • Have a bake sale – hold a lunchtime bake sale full of blue treats and donate the proceeds
  • Gather raffle prize donations and sell raffle tickets at your event
  • Decorate your space with our going blue materials
  • Check out our Going Blue image gallery for inspiration

Float first

Learn a new survival skill with our Float first educational resources – it might just save your life or the life of someone you love.

Would you know what to do if you fell into our cold, New Zealand waters this winter? How would you survive if strong currents took you out to sea? Knowing how to respond in the first 60-90 seconds can make the difference between life and death.

In an emergency, panic or cold water shock can lead to drowning or cardiac arrest. Even the strongest swimmers can be affected.

Floating as your first response will increase your chances of staying alive.

Going Blue for Drowning Prevention Sign Up

Going Blue for Drowning Prevention Sign Up

Sign up to receive the latest info and free materials

This question requires a valid email address.
7. Are you interested in fundraising on World Drowning Prevention Day? *This question is required.
8. Do you want to receive a 'going blue' pack? *This question is required.
Our centres had a lot of fun and a lot of them didn’t even know about World Drowning Prevention Day before this – they’re keen to get on board every year!
Auckland Council pools

The students really enjoy supporting all of the work you and your team do and for very important reasons. Saving their life or the life of another. Keep up the fabulous job that you do… reminding us all that prevention is key!!
Flanshaw Road School

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He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Promoting the Aquatic Employment Pathway

Promoting the Aquatic Employment Pathway

Unleash your potential… ride the waves of employment with us!

The DPA team was amongst the thousands at the ASB PolyFest over the past week, playing a support role for the Wai ora Tāmaki Makaurau promotional booth, addressing the employment journeys within the aquatic sector. The message was: “Unleash your potential… ride the waves of employment with us!

Over the past ten years, one third of those who drown in our Auckland region are Māori and Pacific young people yet very few Māori or Pacific peoples are employed in the aquatic sector, limiting the design, direction, and delivery of successful water safety initiatives.

Using a basketball activity with the primary message displayed on the backboard, and a booth highlighting career pathways, QR quotes for further information, and a collection of safety items displayed (see photos), this message was shared with youth and whānau over the four days.

Youth touch points: It was estimated over 900 youth and whānau were engaged per day (based on the average of 1 successful shooter to 5 non-successful shooters) totalling approximately 3,600 youth and family members.

Networking touch points: Seven co-exhibitors showed interest in discussing future partnerships to support youth and employment opportunities.

WOTM Stakeholder engagement: Financial contributions were received from DPA, Surf Life Saving NZ (SLSNZ) and Fyfod; Prize pack contributions from Swimsation, SLSNZ, CLM, Auckland Council, Vector Wero and Maritime NZ; and people power contributions for the booth roster included: DPA, Auckland Council, Coastguard Boating Education, SLSN, SafeKids, and MassSport.

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Lobbying for Lifejacket Bylaw Change

Lobbying for Lifejacket Bylaw Change

Navigating Towards Safer Waters: Push for changes to Auckland’s Lifejacket Bylaw

In the past quarter, we have been advocating for a crucial update to Auckland’s Navigational Bylaw. Currently, skippers of vessels under 6 metres have the choice of whether those on board wear lifejackets. However, with a staggering 20 out of 29 boating fatalities last year involving individuals not wearing life jackets, and nearly three quarters of those having one available but not being worn, the need for change is evident.

Collaborative Advocacy Efforts:

This push for change stems from the collaborative efforts of Auckland’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Strategy, Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau (WOTM). The joint initiative, spearheaded by Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) and Coastguard NZ, recently resulted in a pivotal meeting with members of the Auckland Council Regulatory Safety Committee. This meeting led to an invitation to present before the full Committee in December 2023.

Accelerated Consideration of Amendment:

The Committee agreed to expedite the consideration of the amendment, moving ahead of the initially scheduled timeline. This proactive stance signals a potential shift in the Auckland Navigational Bylaw that could significantly enhance safety on smaller boats.

National Alignment and Regional Challenges:

The proposed amendment aims to align Auckland’s Navigational Bylaw more closely with Waikato’s, where wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) is compulsory for vessels under 6 metres when underway. The current lack of consistency in bylaws across the country poses a challenge for small boat users, particularly as they navigate water spaces in neighbouring regions.

Working Groups and Collaborators:

Under the umbrella of Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau (WOTM), a dedicated working group consisting of Drowning Prevention Auckland, Coastguard NZ, Water Safety NZ, Tāmaki Makaurau Safety Collective, Fergs Kayaks, SafeKids Aotearoa, SLSNR, and MERC have achieved this outcome with previous efforts by DPA in 2014 and 2019 need to be credited in paving the way.

What’s next?:

Over the next three months, the WOTM working group aims to work with a Council sub-group to finalise the amendment and a ‘community readiness’ programme.

As Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland charts its course towards safer waters, the collective efforts of these organisations promise a positive impact on boating safety and a more consistent regulatory framework nationwide.

Radio Interview

Brownwyn Coers speaks to the Afternoons Show on Radio New Zealand about the journey to change this bylaw.

Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau

Click the link to learn more about the group of sector partners collaborating to prevent drowning in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

DPA boosts water safety for ACC Have a hmm campaign

DPA boosts water safety for ACC Have a hmm campaign

‘Have a hmmm’ is a constructive wero (challenge) from ACC to Aotearoa: Take action to avoid injury and keep yourself, your whānau, friends and community safe and well.

DPA joined forces with ACC and sector partners to offer expertise for a series of water safety videos. Check out the popular water based activities below.

Have a watch, then have a hmmm next time you head out to the water.

Kaimoana fishing off the rocks

Kaimoana snorkelling and diving

Kaimoana fishing from a boat

Surfing

Swimming

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Kai Gathering with Te Ara a Hape

Kai Gathering with Te Ara a Hape

The youth group from Makaurau Marae recently completed our Kai Gathering programme which ended on a high with two open water dives at Te Kohuroa/Matheson Bay. The conditions on the day were perfect for the dive with some serious excitement levels!

Prior to reaching the coast they completed six pool sessions that are based on the 15 water competencies for drowning prevention. The students were able to draw on their existing experience from venturing out with whānau and friends to learn the essential skills, behaviours and attitudes that would keep them safe.

These included understanding shallow water blackout – knowing how to recognise if their buddy was in danger and how to respond. It was great to see them communicating with hand signals and working to keep each other safe.

After mastering some of the trickier skills like how to put on their weight belts whilst in the water, and perfecting the diving and surfacing safely, we took them on a snorkel safari! The group moved together on the course, finishing near the rocks where they were able to swim around, looking for any sea life they could find.

Like any water based activity, working in the pool to perfect the necessary competencies is important before heading out into the ocean. This programme not only teaches them the skills and behaviours but changes the attitudes and ability to assess what could go wrong and how they would respond. We know that they will be able to carry out and use everything they learnt when they are next out diving or snorkelling in the future.
Kairo Jacobs

Aquatic Educator

More Kai Gathering information

Click the link to learn more about our kai gathering workshops.

Contact: Harry Aonga – 021 111 8674 [email protected]

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Spring Research Forum 2023

WHEN 2pm, Wednesday 22 November
WHERE Ponsonby Cruising Club, 141 – 151 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven, Auckland
RSVP to [email protected] by Thursday 16 November
This year our annual research forum showcases the presentations that will be given at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Perth in early December. Our speakers will cover a range of topics focusing on water competency across ages and ethnicities, parents as first teachers of water safety, collaborative leadership and partnerships with councils.

The 29th Annual General Meeting of Water Safe Auckland trading as Drowning Prevention Auckland will take place at 4pm that day at the same venue. Please let us know in your RSVP email if you be join us for the AGM also.

See below for a full list of presenatations.

Presentations

Dr Teresa Stanley

Assisting adults to understand actual water competence

Ants Lowe

Partnering with Councils to Assess Inland Water Hazards

Harry Aonga

Water competence programmes for Asian ethnicities in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland

Nicola Keen-Biggelaar

The role of collaborative leadership in developing meaningful regional water safety and drowning prevention strategies

Lynley Stewart

Parents as First Teachers Preventing Drowning

Dr Kevin Moran

Can you get in safely? Water entry knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Wai Wise: Free water safety programme for Indian community

Wai Wise: Free water safety programme for Indian community

Come and try out new water activities and learn how to be safer, in on and around the water.

Wai Wise is a free, half day programme open to the Indian community (aged 15+). Participants will increase knowledge and awareness of the different and unique water environments we are surrounded by in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.

Activities include a lifejacket experience, paddleboarding, kayaking and rafting in a controlled environment at Vector Wero Whitewater Park. The park is a world class tourism destination and the only one of its kind in Aotearoa / New Zealand.

DPA’s evidence-based teaching covers the 15 Water Competencies for Drowning Prevention. These learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours we teach in all of our programmes to help prevent drowning and make sure everyone comes home safe.

Places are limited with three Saturday sessions running this summer. Be sure to sign up today or get in touch with any questions.

Key learnings

  • Understanding survival positions in lifejackets for a survival situation
  • Preparation, knowledge and understanding around open water (weather, wind, swell)
  • Paddling competence and technique
  • Safe entries and exits from land and boat

Dates

2 December 2023 – 9.30am – 1.15pm
17 February 2024 – 9.30am – 1.15pm
16 March 2024 – 9.30am – 1.15pm

Location

Vector Wero Whitewater Park

Sign up for Wai Wise

The free programme is open to the Indian community aged 15+ and is suitable for beginners.

Contact: Harry Aonga – 021 111 8674 [email protected]

Funded by Tū Manawa / Sport New Zealand.

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

New eLearning module for parents and caregivers of under fives

New eLearning module for parents and caregivers of under fives

Concerted efforts in education for parents and young children, together with legislation around pool fences and barriers have significantly reduced drowning in children aged under five-years. However, under-fives still comprise 6% of preventable drowning fatalities and 14% of hospitalisations between 2018- 2022. Drowning Prevention Auckland is committed to preventing future tragedies by making water safety awareness and education accessible for everyone.

The good news is we know that children are fast and keen learners – in fact, evidence shows that the ‘quickest’ age to develop your water competence is six years of age, provided they have had appropriate experiences to develop confidence and awareness.

Informed by robust, international research, DPA has released another Early Childhood eLearning module: Young Children Developing Water Competence. This free course can be done at home and is focused on parents, or caregivers building water confidence with their preschool tamariki.

Water competency education for children under five begins at home. As a parent or caregiver, you are your child’s first teacher, and you know your child better than anyone. We encourage you to make the most of everyday opportunities – like bath time and outdoor play – to develop water safety awareness in fun and meaningful ways.

What if I can’t access a pool or swimming lessons?

We know that sometimes accessing a pool is difficult because of the entry cost or cost of swimming lessons, cold weather, or you’re too far away from your nearest pool. With our new eLearning module, you can gain valuable and practical information at home at a time that suits you.

Made with parents and caregivers in mind, this new module covers three areas: “Bath and shower”, “Garden and backyard”, and “Swimming Pools” and includes guidance on all 15 water competencies, including:

  • entering and exiting the water
  • submerging
  • breath control
  • floating and moving through the water

You can read more about the 15 water competencies here.

A great head start before school

Starting this education at home is a great idea because your child will then be safer around water, as well as being more confident and ready to learn traditional swimming strokes when they start school.

While our new module is aimed at parents and caregivers, this information will also be valuable for early childhood educators.

To sum up, this course is recommended for anyone who has regular care of children under five – why not get grandparents and the rest of your whānau involved?

Check out the new module today!

After completing this free Young Children Developing Water Competence online module, you will:

• understand how to keep your under-fives safe when near water
• have ideas on ways to have fun with your young child in and around water
• know how to build you and your young child’s water competence

Other free courses available

DPA has a range of other free eLearning courses available on our website, including “Early Childhood Water Safety”. This course covers the ‘Layers of Protection’ that are essential to help keep your young children safe around bodies of water. The four layers of protection are: supervision, barriers, water competence and CPR. While this content is also aimed at parents of under-fives, the material can be used by early childhood educators. This course covers several water competencies and will help you teach your young children water competence and confidence in and around the home, around pools and spas, and in open water environments.

Visit eLearning platform

In-person opportunities to extend your knowledge and confidence

DPA continues to work alongside early childhood centres, kindergartens, schools and kura, and homebased learning services around Auckland to encourage the inclusion of water safety in the curriculum, giving both parents and children confidence around water.

What’s more, we offer free presentations and resources to parents and caregivers. If you’re interested in organising a DPA presentation for a parent group, please contact: Helen Meyrick on: [email protected]

We also offer professional learning and development for early childhood educators, as well as classroom-based water safety sessions for under-fives. Our goal is to continue making drowning prevention education as accessible, meaningful, and as much fun as possible.

Contact us for information

Other news

He Taonga Te Wai 2024

Commemorative Dawn Service Drowning Prevention Auckland are pleased to invite you to our World Drowning Prevention Day dawn service - He Taonga Te Wai on 25 July. We will gather at the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, a place where ancestors travelled to the city to start a...

School adds water safety into outdoor education

School adds water safety into outdoor education

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water. Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with...

Drowning Reality Check: Perception vs. Competency

In 2023, the majority (83%) of people who drowned in Aotearoa New Zealand were adults over 25 years old. A recent study has discovered a reason for this: there's often a gap between what people think they can do in water and what they're actually capable of. The study...

Manawa Makes a Splash

Manawa Makes a Splash

Manawa means heart in Te Reo Māori and “our heart” is what Manawa Harrison, 17, is to his friends and whānau.

Manawa’s journey has not been an easy one. He was diagnosed at a young age with Autism, ADHD, SPD and mild Tourette Syndrome. He had trouble focusing in school and his behaviour was often erratic.

Living in the small East Coast town of Ruatoria, (Ruatorea) near Gisborne, made access to services and professionals that could help very difficult.

After years of struggle, his father Sparks, along with some supportive medical specialists, decided it was time to stop focusing on what he “should” be doing and instead focus on what he loves to do.

For Manawa that means going hard on the self taught drums, flying through the air doing bombs, hot pools and all things water related.

And so for four school holidays in a row, Sparks and Manawa made the eight hour journey from Ruatoria to Auckland to attend the Splash Break-Away Programme run by Drowning Prevention Auckland, first in Manurewa then at West Wave in Henderson.

Sparks explains that being in the water is beneficial for Manawa’s focus, its something he enjoys and can be successful at doing.
“I spent many hours for three weeks looking at different holiday programmes around New Zealand, he’d done lots of different camps, basketball holiday programmes, but then I saw Splash.”

“He loves it. He loves the staff, he thinks they are really cool, there was no negativity and he enjoys being around the other kids. He wasn’t sure if he would like it at first but he really did. I had tears in my eyes driving back to Ruatoria listening to him talk about having such a good time.”

v
“It’s something new to learn and it’s really fun, I like everything about it.”
Manawa Harrison

Sparks is also appreciative of West Wave Aquatics Centre and Diving New Zealand who made time for Manawa to do some sweet bombs from the top diving board.

“The younger kids from the Splash programme came to watch him and were like ‘wow look at him’ – he loved that.”

Being involved in water and water safety programmes have really helped build Manawa’s self confidence and he is now regularly attending school in Ruatoria as well as Tautau Village in Gisborne to help him with life skills. He has a bright future ahead of him with plans to play the drums at Wembley Stadium as well as help other children with Autism find their passions.

“Manawa wasn’t ever supposed to be able to do some of things he can do, but he is doing them.”

One Day Water Safety Programme

Our next Splash one day water safety programmes run at several facilities across Auckland in the September/October school holidays

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