In September a new bill was introduced to Parliament that will change the rules around how swimming pools are to be fenced. The government says the proposed legislation will give a more consistent and practical approach to proect people (and children in particular) from drowning.
We're not sure if this new legislation will come into force before the summer holidays, but it's a reminder that you must always watch children when you are near the water - whether you're at a public swimming pool, you have a pool of your own or you're at the beach. As well, if you're an adult and either can't swim or you're not confident, please be careful when you swim in a pool, or you're at the beach or the river.
Drownings in this country have increased in 2015. DrownBase (Water Safety New Zealand's database) shows that as at 11 September 2015 there have been 68 drownings so far this year, compared with 54 at the same time in 2014. There were two under-5 drownings; one drowning in the 5-13 year-old age bracket; 56 of these drownings were male; 45 were in rivers, beaches and tidal waters; and 15 were Maori.