New Water Safe campaign launching to highlight rural hazards

In New Zealand, water is an integral part of our lives. It is the essence of life itself, keeping us cool on hot days, watering our crops, providing magnificent scenery, and is a destination of choice for weekends away with the family and a jet-ski or boat.

But water is not always just a resource that supports our livelihoods or a place to make good memories with our nearest and dearest. Our waterways can also be a deadly hazard for our treasured young children, and this has led to some devastating outcomes in our communities in recent times.

In the last 10 years, New Zealand has had 58 preventable toddler drownings. Fifty-eight young lives have been taken far too soon, and their families have had their lives turned upside down forever.

These terrible events have sparked members in the community to speak up and get the message out on the importance of adult supervision around water. Ashburton District Council is lending its voice to this chorus as well.

Together with Water Safety New Zealand and local irrigation companies, Mayfield Hinds Valetta Water, Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation and Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Ltd, we are launching a video campaign to highlight the dangers waterways can pose for children and how critical it is that a vigilant adult eye is always watching their toddler. 

It is not realistic to expect every waterway in rural Mid Canterbury to be fenced. We are a region of water races, irrigation ponds, rivers and streams, most of which are not fenced and are often in close proximity to homes.

That’s why, as a community, we all need to do our part to look out for toddlers who simply do not understand the threat that a nearby body of water can be to their life.

Children can drown in less than one minute – that’s how quickly tragedies can happen. What amounts to only mere moments is enough to change your whole world forever.

This water safety video campaign features local residents delivering key messages for keeping your young ones safe. It highlights local environments and encourages everyone to understand where waterways are, particularly if you are visiting a farm or are unfamiliar with a rural area.

The video is available on the Ashburton District Council Facebook page (@AshburtonDC). I strongly encourage you to please share it with your networks. It is our hope that if this message helps to save a young life, than it has achieved something immensely worthwhile.​

Page reviewed: 18 Apr 2019 4:36pm