Kids Have Fun
and Learn Water Safety

Mission

Giving children the skills and knowledge they need to assess risk and make smart decisions around water.

For our primary school children, Water Skills for Life is the essential beginning of life-long learning.

Education

Online Education

For our precious children these are the formative and most important years when water safety can be embedded and a life-long step-change achieved. It is the time when children are most receptive and sets them up for further learning and resilience throughout their lives.

Latest News

Know the water safety code to stay safe in the water this summer

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November is Water Safety Awareness month, and with summer approaching, Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is cautioning... Keep reading

$2 million invested in community drowning prevention programmes

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Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has announced the recipients of its 2021/2022 annual contestable funding... Keep reading

Introducing Wai ora Aotearoa: Navigating to a safer future. New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025... Keep reading

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Wai ora Aotearoa 2025

New strategy to get more kids learning Water Skills for Life

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Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has undertaken a strategic refresh to get greater cut through... Keep reading

Making a difference

Our Focus Areas

We work closely with our partners, communities and swim schools across the country to teach our children the skills they need to survive.

01

Whanau

A child's ability to stay afloat and safe in water is something every parent wants. Yet our record in New Zealand of child deaths from preventable drowning is poor.

Please support your children and the Water Skills for Life programme in your school or community.

02

Schools & Kura

Water Skills For Life comprises seven competency areas and can be taught through four learning levels for students starting out in year 0 up to year 8. Within each learning level we show you how you can work with your students across the seven competency areas, including overall water safety and awareness.

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Swim Schools

Water Safety New Zealand funds some swim schools to deliver Water Skills for Life to students, primarily at schools which don't have a school pool. This delivery should be conducted at your local aquatic centre.

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Students are given key learning messaging such as do not go swimming alone and swim between the flags to more complex knowledge such as recognising and responding to an emergency and making safe decisions for different situations. The key learning outcome for students is to have knowledge of the risks and how to minimise them so they can enjoy the water safely in the future.

Water safety
and awareness

01

In this competency, students will learn how to safely enter the water, test for depth, and other entry and exit methods such as slide entry, stride entry, and compact jump. The key learning outcome for students is the ability to select the correct entry method for the activity they are performing and understand the best ways to get themselves out of the water safely.

Getting in and
out of the water

02

In this competency, students will learn how to submerge to different depths, open their eyes under the water and move through it while submerged. The key learning outcome for students is to become comfortable being under the water, control their breathing and perform simple tasks such as picking up an object from the pool floor. Learning how to control their breathing and stay calm while submerged will help students enjoy the water for the rest of their lives.

Submersion

03

Students are given key learning messaging such as do not go swimming alone and swim between the flags to more complex knowledge such as recognising and responding to an emergency and making safe decisions for different situations. The key learning outcome for students is to have knowledge of the risks and how to minimise them so they can enjoy the water safely in the future.

Personal buoyancy

04

In this competency, students will learn how their body composition floats and how they can move their bodies to float in different positions and move from one orientation to another. By doing so, students will be able to rotate from one floating position to another without assistance and be able to roll from their front to their back in shallow and deep water. 

Orientation

05

Students will learn how to signal for help, perform reach and throw rescues while considering their safety and understand how to help someone in trouble in the water. The key learning outcome is that the students can recognise an emergency and react appropriately to the situation they are faced with but must put their safety first.

Safety of self and others

06

In this competency, students will learn how to move through the water, from basic kicking techniques to more advanced survival and non-survival strokes. Moving through the water allows the students to move effectively and efficiently whilst extending the students to further distances, enabling stamina and water endurance growth. 

Propulsion

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Our Competencies