Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau (WOTM) is Auckland’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Strategy. It is lead and part funded to date by Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) and collaboratively designed by representatives from Auckland’s aquatic and injury prevention sectors. Acknowledgement must be given to those who co-designed the strategy and led to the document being signed by the Steering Group in November 2022.
The strategy is aligned to Wai Ora Aotearoa (WOA) – the New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025 with the purpose to collaboratively ensure every Aucklander has the opportunity to safely connect to and enjoy the water

Hoki atu ki tōu maunga kia purea ai e koe ki ngā hau o Tawhirimātea.
Return to your mountain to be cleansed by the winds of Tawhirimātea.

The maunga (mountain) illustration depicts the journey of Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Strategy. Each element represents a different aspect of the journey and these are explained below. Select a dropdown toggle under an icon find out more about each element.

Te Moana

Mission | Whakatakanga
Te moana represents the three moana of Tāmaki: Te Mānukanukatanga o Hoturoa; Kaipara & Te Wai o te Matā.

Te moana represents Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau’s mission:

Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland works collectively to instil respect for the water and encourage safe tikanga and behaviours by all people to prevent water related injuries and preventable drowning.

Ka kotahi mai a Tāmaki Makaurau i āna mahi ki te whakatō i te ngākau whakaute ki te wai, me te whakaaweawe i te pūmautanga o ngā tikanga me ngā whanonga e te katoa hei ārai atu i ngā tūroro ā-wai, toremitanga hoki.

Te Pūtahi

Vision | Moemoeā
Te Pūtahi is the place where the awa/rivers merge, signifying collaboration and the collective effort.

Te Pūtahi represents Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau’s vision:

Kia whai waahi katoa ngā tāngata o Tāmaki Makaurau ki te noho haumaru ki te wai.

Everyone in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland has the opportunity to safely connect to and enjoy the water.

Ngā Awa

Values | Uara
Each of the four awa/rivers within the maunga illustration represent one of our values:

  1. Aroha. The awa representing the value of kindness; humility; and empathy
  2. Whakapono. The awa representing honesty
  3. Ngā Ture. The awa representing integrity; humility
  4. Kotahitanga. The awa representing courage; selflessness

Te Pūhoro

Te Pūhoro represents movement; returning to your mountain to be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea.

Click to view workstreams

Te Mangopare

Mangopare representing the hammer head shark; a sign of respect for the strength of Tangaroa.

View stakeholders


Manaia – representing the passage of knowledge from tuākana to taina, and taina to tuākana. (World views / Perspectives).


Respect for Tangaroa
Unaunahi – representation of fish scales; respect to Tangaroa and his domain.


Pākati – representing the closing off; protection.


Raperape – representing movement.

Principles | Ngā Mātāpono

Kua waihangatia ngā mātāpono o te rautaki e te hunga tūhono mahi ki te rautaki (ngā rōpū ā-hapori, ngā wāhi mahi, aha atu, aha atu).

Ki tā te tirohanga Māori, i ahu mai ngā mātāpono Māori katoa mai i ngā kōrero tuku iho e pā ana ki ngā Atua Māori. Ko ngā mātāpono ka ārahi i ngā whanonga katoa o te tangata.

According to a Māori worldview, all Māori principles can be attributed to the traditional narratives to do with the Māori Gods. These principles are what guide all human behaviours.

Guardianship | Kaitiakitanga
“Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua” | Men may perish but the land will always remain.
Quality | Kounga
“Ruia taitea kia tū ko taikākā anake” | Strip away the sapwood so that the heartwood remains.
Equity | Tōritenga
“Patuki tahi ngā manawa” | Let our hearts all beat as one
Partnership | Kōtuitanga
“Ko tāu rourou, ko tāku rourou, ka ora te iwi” | With your contributions, with my contributions, we will all prosper.


Appreciating the region’s diversity and water safety concerns, a collection of WOTM work streams were collaboratively designed by a reference group during 2023 using drowning statistics and insights, research, sector experience, Te Ao Māori, and multi-ethnic representation. This reference group is made up of 25 active stakeholders who have a shared vision that all Aucklanders have the opportunity to safely connect to and enjoy the water.

While each organisation achieves their individual purpose, there are aspects that the sector needs to address collectively. These work streams play an important role as the building blocks towards systems change which would otherwise not be achieved if single organisations operated independently.


In the first year of implementation, the Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau has developed many workstreams and appreciation is extended to all stakeholders who have actively contributed to this work.

Working Group 1 - Integrated Aquatic Pathway (IAP)
Engagement DPA, WSNZ, MERC, Swimsation, SLSN, Aktive, Safekids, ACC, CNZ, YMCA, Fyfod
  • Creating an environmental scan identifying current programmes and services; the duplications and gaps.
  • The inclusion of the evidence-based 15 water competencies as a criteria.
  • The initiation of partnership discussions to reduce program duplication.
  • Extension to form a road map depicting a life journey and more current recreational activities.
  • Stakeholders discussing duplications and gaps and how to best deploy resources.
  • Time required to align WS competencies.
  • Clarification of current and supported foundation program.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Engage discussions with CEOs to strengthen line of sight to organisation strategies. Support Partnership discussions to strengthen collaboration.
  • 6 months – Refreshed environmental scan that captures change and future need.

Working Group 2 - Business Engagement Strategy
Engagement DPA, MERC, SLSN, Safekids, CNZ, MNZ, NZSAR, Fergs Kayaks, NZSUP, NZ Marine, Maritime Police
  • Quantitative and qualitative data was conducted by multiple agencies, capturing customer experiences at the point of sale, and informing how to best approach retailers to improve their duty of care from the levels of governance through to customers at the point of sale.
  • Engagement with retailers of the marine industry and Retailers NZ has been secured.
  • Educational collateral is being developed – including App database; Safety messaging; CPC scheme criteria; and awards to recognise ‘Duty of care’
  • The identification of ‘influencers’ who can open the door for the initial discussions at governance levels.
  • The collation of relevant and user-friendly educational content to support the development of retail staff and an easy transfer to customer.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Collate and report on research undertaken. Test our approach using ‘friendly’ marine industry retailers. Collate suitable educational content from sector in readiness for distribution/sharing and retail staff development. Refine based on feedback.
  • 6 months – Engagement with governance of target retailers to offer partnership opportunity to enhance their profile of social responsibility, improve upselling of product, and encourage repeat business.

Working Group 3 - Employment Journey
Engagement DPA, MERC, Safekids, Fyfod, WorkSafe, Swimsation, Te Mahi Ako, ACC, Aktive
  • Conducting a ‘gap analysis’ and prioritising target audience
  • Identified potential employee audience (youth and older adult).
  • Identified the collateral needed for promotion and events for 2024.
  • Initiated opportunities to partner organisations such as MSD, ACC, WorkSafe to streamline delivery and promotion to specific communities.
  • Simplifying a very diverse and inter-connecting employment journey into a meaningful graphic so that it is easily interpreted and reflects diversity.
  • Funding for educational content and event registration etc.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Continue gap analysis. Finalise employee journey graphic. Create collateral for youth event & promotions. Establish two more partnerships. Present at 3 community expos / school forums.
  • 6 months – As above and include a focus for ‘mature adult’.

Working Group 4 - Tāmaki Makaurau Event Calendar
Engagement DPA, MNZ, SLSN, SBF/WOL MarComms
  • A platform for an online calendar is being collaboratively explored.
  • Dates for regional promotion have been identified to align with each risk group.
  • Multiple target groups requiring increasing resource.
  • Cost of registration being a barrier.
  • Cost to repurpose or refresh collateral to ensure fit for purpose in new context and environments.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Create a ‘package’ of promotional events. Invite stakeholders to support events that resonate with their strategic outcomes.
  • 6 months – Create a second ‘package’ for the latter of year.

Working Group 5 – Auckland’s Navigational Bylaw Amendment (PFD)
Engagement DPA, CNZ, WSNZ, Tāmaki Makaurau Safety Collective, Fergs Kayaks, SafeKids, SLSNR, MERC
  • Formulating a plan collectively to amend Auckland’s Navigational Bylaw.
  • Hosted a successful scoping meeting between WOTM (DPA, WSNZ & CNZ) and Councillors Alf Filipaina and Josephine Bartley; James Hassall (GM Licensing and Regulatory Compliance) and Paul Wilson (Senior Policy Manager).
  • Presented to Auckland Council’s Regulatory and Community Safety Committee and gained agreement from the councillors to progress with amendment earlier than had been scheduled.
  • Funding future management to retain momentum during the 12-18 month process.
  • Garnering support from the wider community during the submission and community education phases.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Work with Council sub-group to finalise amendment and circulate for community consultation. Promote this success and reach out to communities for support.
  • 6 months – Plan a ‘community readiness’ programme to transition into the new state of regulation.

Working Group 6 – Profile and Identity
Engagement DPA, SLSN, MERC
  • Developing the WOTM story through clear workstreams.
  • Stakeholders beginning to take a lead role in workstreams.
  • The development of a graphic, using the image of a maunga, to tell the WOTM journey.
  • The creation of a promotional one-pager, a logic model, a line of sight from the strategic measures to the workstreams, and a draft budget for each work stream.
  • Consideration of the criteria around the use, ownership and integrity of WOTM identity and profile.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Developing graphics for presentation purposes.
  • 6 months – Prioritise workstreams for future efforts.

Working Group 7 – Funding and Capacity
Engagement DPA, CNZ, Tāmaki Mkaurau Safety Collective, Fergs Kayaks, SafeKids, MERC
  • Increased diversity of stakeholders offering capacity within work streams.
  • Clearer recognition of the funding need for each respective workstream.
  • The development of a 2024 funding plan.
  • Lack of seed funding for each workstream.
  • Time required to secure funding and capacity.
  • The need for funds is always more than is available.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Fine tuning the 2024 funding plan and extending to include 2025.
  • Applying to funders to support management role, and workstream costs.
  • Discuss with lead stakeholders, how they can share the responsibility of funding. Create a donor-centric approach.

Working Group 8 – Water Safety Messages
Engagement DPA, WSNZ, CNZ, Tāmaki Makaurau Safety Collective, Fergs Kayaks, SafeKids, MERC, Aktive, SLSNR, Auckland Council, Harbour Sport, NZSAR, MNZ
  • Reflected on the current water safety code and had a robust discussion regarding ‘fit for purpose’ for 2024 and beyond.
  • Successfully sort and secured diversity of perspective from ethnic and non-aquatic contributors.
  • Regional insights were feed back to national discussions hosted by SLSNZ / Safer Boating MarComs group.
  • Contributing feedback on draft Water Safety Code messages being circulated by SBF/WOL MarComms group for comment and creating a summary table as a reference tool.
  • To view messages from the lens of the wider and diverse audience.
  • To expand generic messages to be environment/activity/or people related.
  • Time required for national discussions to create final set of generic messages.
Future Direction
  • 3 months – Contribute to finalising the national discussions as a member of the MarComms group.
  • 6 months – Support efforts of stakeholders promoting messages.

Working Group 9 – Aviation Project
Engagement DPA, NZSAR
  • Recognised the opportunity to improve education for visitors and new migrants through partnering airlines and initiating pre-flight; in-flight and post flight water safety education.
  • Explored partnership opportunities with Korean Airlines; MBIE and NZSAR
  • Lack of funding to implement.
  • Time required to source and secure funding
  • Capacity of stakeholders committed to other workstreams.
Future Direction
  • This workstream is on hold until further resources can be secured.

Thank you to the stakeholders and all those who support this mahi.


Wai Ora Tāmaki Makaurau are strong advocators for water safety in the community. We attend events to engage with Aucklanders and increase awareness and understanding of water safety skills and behaviours.

In this section you will find information about relevant events and can access event handouts.