18 Oct 2012

Hastings Maori group wins top water safety award

8:30 pm on 18 October 2012

Hastings kaupapa Maori organisation has taken out the top group award in this year's New Zealand Water Safety Awards.

Te Tai Timu Trust, established in 2007 by Zac Makoare from Flaxmere, runs an annual summer camp to teach children about staying safe in the water

This year's wananga held at Pourerere Beach in Central Hawke's Bay was attended by 107 teenagers, some of them regarded as at risk.

The 16-year-olds took part in activities including swimming, surf lifesaving, river crossing, beach safety and waka ama races.

They attended workshops with speakers from Water Safety New Zealand, the District Health Board, the Ministry of Fisheries, the police and Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Water Safety New Zealand chief executive Matt Claridge says because what the trust does is so wide-ranging, it pushed all the right buttons.

He says the organisation is so impressed with what the trust is doing for young Maori in Hawke's Bay that it wants to introduce the concept all over the country.

Mr Claridge says they are already working with partners in the South Island to hold a regional wananga for Maori youth in Otago.