Pania of the Reef’s doing it, Peter Snell’s doing it, even John Plimmer and Sir Dove-Meyer Robinson are getting in on the act as lifejackets become the height of fashion for statues around the country during Safer Boating Week.
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), along with councils and trusts throughout the country, has teamed up with lifejacket manufacturer Survitec Group to put lifejackets on some of our most-recognised icons to remind boaties that if it’s not on, it’s no good.
Safer Boating Week, an initiative from the National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum*, runs from 17-24 October. Forum Chair and MNZ Deputy Director Lindsay Sturt said the Statues for Life(jackets) campaign was an eye-catching way to remind boaties to wear their lifejackets.
“Some of these characters are a bit stoney-faced but I am sure they would be onboard for promoting water safety,” Mr Sturt said.
The campaign is fun but it carries a very serious message.
“Every year, we see an average of around 15 boaties die in recreational boating accidents. We know that around two-thirds of them could have been saved if they wore a lifejacket. Most people in New Zealand carry sufficient lifejackets for all on board when they go out on the water – which is the law – but too many people don’t actually put them on. When trouble strikes, it can happen very quickly and you won’t necessarily have time to grab your lifejacket.
“We encourage all boaties to wear their lifejackets all the time – just like these fine monuments are this week.”
The statues involved this week are: William Rees in Queenstown, the Seafarer’s Memorial in Nelson, Solace of the Wind, and John Plimmer in Wellington, the Spirit of Napier, Pania of the Reef, and a Wave in Time in Napier, Peter Snell in Opunake and Captain Hamilton and Riff Raff in Hamilton. See the full statue album on Facebook.