Six men drowned during the month of October, four of them over the age of 70.
Water Safety New Zealand general manager Matthew Claridge says two of the drownings were influenced by alcohol.
He says combining any use of alcohol with water-based activities is dangerous and inappropriate.
Mr Claridge says everyone, but particularly the elderly, need to be aware of the risks of being on the water.
So far this year 65 people have drowned. The five-year average is 86 drownings.