23 May 2012

Specific Pacific water safety campaign wanted

5:40 pm on 23 May 2012

A Tongan community leader is calling for a water safety campaign to target the Pacific Island community, after a father and son drowned in the weekend.

So'saia Paasi and his son Tino were not wearing lifejackets when their boat capsized on Manukau harbour on Sunday.

Four men from the same Tongan community drowned while net-fishing last year.

Tongan Advisory Council chairman Malino Maka says some people from the islands don't realise how different the water conditions are in New Zealand.

He says water safety groups don't target Pacific people properly, as any messages about the dangers of boating are not getting through.

Mr Maka says there needs to be a long-running campaign on water safety.