Which gender and ethnicity drowns the most in New Zealand?




Drowning is the fourth highest cause of accidental death in New Zealand so some would argue that swimming programmes targeting the gender and ethnicity of those most likely to drown are a very good idea. WaterSafe certainly believes that the ratepayer-funded FREE Muslim Women’s Swimming programme that has been running for 12 years in Mount Roskill is justified despite the drowning?statistics not revealing religious affiliation. Interestingly what the statistics do reveal is that men not women are most at risk of drowning.

Screenshot-whaleoil The 2016 report http://www.drownbase.org.nz/

This programme [ Muslim Women’s Swimming Programme] is but one of many evidence-based targeted initiatives designed to prevent drowning among our fast growing and increasingly diverse population. In the 2015, official drowning statistics for Auckland for the first time have shown the ethnicity category of ?other? surpassing NZ European, M?ori, Pasifika and Asian. We have no intention therefore of cancelling a programme that has been successfully run for the past 12 years, and will continue to work with communities to ensure the social and economic burden of drowning in T?maki Makaurau is reduced.


After reading WaterSafe’s response I decided to have a look at New Zealand’s overall 2015 drowning statistics to see if I could find a justification for targeting the female gender above the male gender and Muslims above all other religious migrant groups and ethnicities.

Screenshot-whaleoil http://www.drownbase.org.nz/

What I discovered was that 80% of ALL drownings were male?(91/113 deaths) and that drowning under “other” for the whole of New Zealand made up only ?3.5% of the total (4/113 deaths.) As any ethnicity can be Muslim the statistics?reveal nothing at all about Muslim deaths.

Drowning fatalities and
hospitalisation incidents

In fact,?as you can see from the graph above fatalities and hospitalisation incidents have been going down?not up as New Zealand’s population grows.

Even if WaterSafe targeted exclusively Muslim women with all their swimming programmes what difference would it make to New Zealand’s drowning statistics? I suggest zero difference and this is why. Firstly they are women and men are most likely to drown in New Zealand. Secondly, most Muslim migrant women are not ethnically NZ Europeans or Maori which are the two groups most likely to drown in New Zealand. Thirdly Muslim women who need segregated swimming lessons are extremely unlikely to swim at public beaches and lakes, rivers and inside public swimming pools because they are uncomfortable with our culture of equality. The only swimming they will be doing is segregated swimming, hidden away from male eyes, supervised by female lifeguards. I suggest the chances of them drowning is zero. These classes get them out of the house and provide them with a Muslim social group. What the free lessons do not do is integrate them into our western society or lower the drowning statistics.

According to the 2015 and 2016 drowning statistics?the gender most in need of free swimming programmes are males and the ethnicity most in need of free lessons are NZ Europeans. If WaterSafe was really interested in reducing our drowning statistics then they should be targeting those most likely to drown not those least likely to drown.

I suggest that the Muslim Women’s Swimming lessons ( that the Auckland council says all women are allowed to take part in “despite the name”) are really all about providing a Muslim social group for new migrants where they can swim within the restrictive limitations of their religious ideology. It will not help them integrate and it will not reduce our drowning statistics?one iota.