Topic: Education

'Swim Reaper' campaign aims to promote water safety

By Taroi Black

A new campaign has been launched targeting young kiwi males between the ages of 15-34 in an attempt to bring down New Zealand's high drowning rate. The Swim Reaper campaign will be played out on social media.

Water Safety NZ says drowning statistics are too high.

CEO of Water Safety New Zealand Jonty Mills says, "That's why we decided to be a lot harder hitting and a little more confrontational as I said before young males make up 30% of the drowning toll this year." 

The campaign's target audience is males aged between 15 and 34 and will be played out on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.  

"This campaign is to be targeted and its also designed to really talk to them in their own language in a way they can relate and certainly targeting through the channels that they interact with," Mills says. 

Over 100 people drown in New Z every year. The hard-hitting campaign will encourage people to make safer decisions while they're out at in the water.

"The Maori population are very over-represented in this category and 23% over the last five years of all preventable drownings have been Maori men." 

Water Safety NZ says bad decision making is the purpose of the Swim Reaper campaign.

"It's a typical kiwi macho group that very much overestimate their abilities and underestimate the risks and often don't think about the consequences so this campaign is to be targeted and its also designed to really talk to them in their own language in a way they can relate and certainly targeting through the channels that they interact with."

The campaign will run until the end of Summer.