An increasing number of students do not know how to swim as high costs are forcing schools to close their pools, according to Water Safety New Zealand.
The Government offers some funding to cover running costs such as pool chemicals and water charges, but other costs must be covered by fundraising or grants from the community.
Water Safety New Zealand general manager Matt Claridge says children will miss out on a vital life lesson unless the Ministry of Education increases its funding for pools.
Mr Claridge believes school pools are the best place for students to learn to swim as they provide constant access and communities should not be expected to raise money for pools.
But the Ministry of Education says school pools are often shared with the community, and the costs can be shared as well.