Click on a link below to view
statistics for a particular area:
Preschool drownings in private pools in
The fact sheet provided by Water Safety New
Zealand claims that between 1/1/1987
31/12/2003 there have been 82 pre-schoolers drown in home pools and spa pools
Of these 82 drownings
" 11 were in pools that did comply with the Act
" 71 were in pools that were not fenced or did not comply with the Act at
the time of
Drowning statistics are recorded in Drown Base which is New Zealand's only
It is owned and maintained by Water Safety New Zealand. The
database began in 1980.
At the meeting hosted by WaterSafe Auckland on 6th May 2004 I commented that
were statistics and damned lies!
On 13/4/04 Wayne Thompson of the NZ Herald said Alan Muir of Water Safety, New
Zealand had said half of an estimated 58 000 private pools in the country are
fenced and each year about six children under 5 drown in them.
The minutes from the meeting on 6th May 2004 illustrate my point. Statistics
claiming 40 drownings in private pools over 10 years. Yet Teresa
Stanley asserted "The
average number of children who die in pools each year
for the past ten years is about 6
preschoolers according to WSNZ
statistics" and went on to say "we need to make the
its interpretation consistent." With such a rudimentary lack of skills in
arithmetic being displayed by people wanting law changes and more punitive
against pool owners (to me a 50% miscalculation is diabolical), I, as a
pool owner, must
seriously question the validity of the interpretation of
Bob Harvey has gone on record as saying Waitakere City has maintained a safety
second to none over the last ten years but when I wrote to Denis Sheard ,
Manager, I was informed "No statistical records appear to be
kept." How do you get a
second to none record with no records???
Let's have a look at some Swimming Pool Statistics for Waitakere City in recent
The heavy-handed campaign started in 2002 and is still continuing now despite an
court decision. In a very recent case I am aware of someone with a spa
pool on an
enclosed deck on a second storey with the only access being from a
lounge with access
doors bolted at the top, who has been told to put a fence
on the deck!!!!
Whenever is commonsense going to kick in?
Waitakere City Statistics
Number of Drownings
in Private Pools (0-5)
The Pool Police would no doubt like to claim
that the fact that there have been no
drownings in the last two and a half years
is affirmation of their policy. However it
could also be interpreted that the apparent
perceived danger does not exist!!!!
There have been 105 convictions entered since May 2002 in Waitakere City.
Are those people really petty criminals or is it high time the statistics
more open to public scrutiny?
According to statistics from Alan Muir of Water Safety NZ there has been only
pre-school drowning in a private spa or swimming pool in Waitakere City over
last 6 years. That was when an eight year old was supervising a 2 year old.
not caused by inadequate pool fencing.
Until 19/6/04 the PoolSafe website incorrectly advertised an average of 6
of pre-schoolers in NZ private pools every year. When I approached Alan Muir his
initial reaction was that I was being pedantic but at my insistence he amended
to four. On 2 June 2004 Waitakere City Council placed an
advertisement in the
Aucklander claiming 6 drownings per year. I challenged that
figure and Denis Sheard's
response was "Council does not think it makes any
difference whether the number is
"around four" or "around
six". He went on further to say on 29 June "As recently as
16 June I
saw a draft communication from that body which contained a statement that
was on (sic) average of "six to seven" pre school deaths from drowning
domestic swimming pools."
I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority on 4 June, which advised me
some 9 weeks later that my complaint was not upheld and "the social good
by the message overrode the inaccuracy of the figures." I appealed
the decision on
6 August, the day I received it. On 12 August I emailed Heather
for a possible time-frame for the appeal. On 1st September I received a
dated 12 August saying "The chairman was of the view that it did not
new evidence" and the application for appeal was not accepted.
For further information: Contact Gary Osborne
POAG (Pool Owners Action Group)
ph 834 4513
025 443 010