Apparently, too many Maori are drowning, and it’s all the fault of colonialism. If only we could approach water safety the Maori way it could solve this problem. Well, that’s what the woke Wombles at Water Safety NZ have decided:

With summer here, families and tourists will flock to New Zealand’s beaches, rivers and lakes to paddle, swim, surf, fish, boat and kayak. But despite our love of the water, New Zealanders have a terrible record of drowning deaths.

Last summer was the worst year for drownings in a decade. Our 10-year average beach and coastal drowning rate is 44% per capita higher than Australia’s.

According to Water Safety NZ chief executive Daniel Gerrard, “drowning is the leading cause of recreational death and the third-highest cause of accidental death”.

New Zealand research suggests Western approaches to water safety have not worked for Maori. Water safety educators and advocates are now working to strengthen the connection Maori have with water through whakapapa (genealogy), matauranga (knowledge) and tikanga (custom).


What a load of arrant nonsense. These people are full-flushing idiots milking the teat of Maori wonderfulness for some extra cash.

Someone needs to point out to them that the Maori Party claims that Maori invented swimming amongst other activities including hunting, sailing and canoeing. That may well be news to the Neanderthals and other proto-humans who were hunting and gathering long before the first Maori dreamed of scribbling all over their faces. People of Viking ancestry must wonder how Leif Erikson managed to sail to Iceland, Greenland and the East Coast of North America centuries before Maui decided to fish up the North Island with his bone hook.

This is just woke wombleism gone mad.

Most Maori grew up next to the sea. They paddled their way across rough seas to get to NZ (and Antarctica some would like us to believe). If they can’t work it out by now then it is their fault. I wonder who taught Maori children to dive for pennies at Whakarewarewa?

Of course, there is a much simpler way to solve this conundrum of the inventors of swimming failing to learn how to be competent at the sport they invented. Just tell them there is a taniwha in the water and they should stay away. Problem solved.

The worst part is that this apologist attitude will only ever entrench these outcomes because it will never honestly address the real shortcomings, and therefore never succeed. It’s all so sad. All to avoid the butt-hurt of taking some personal responsibility.

The real problem is that our approach is way too polite, the adverts need to be more culturally appropriate and use language that they will all understand and relate to, such as:

“Listen dickheads, if you can’t swim, then don’t go effing swimming, you stupid pricks”

This nonsense has to stop. Sadly the ninnies in this Government seem hell-bent on entrenching this rubbish.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...