Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Water awareness plan targets migrants

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The spot where an Indian national died on Monday. Photo / Stephen Parker
The spot where an Indian national died on Monday. Photo / Stephen Parker

A Rotorua swim instructor hopes to have adult swimming classes up and running in Rotorua by next week in a bid to encourage migrants to learn to swim.

Henk Greupink, the head coach of Te Arawa Swimming and Orange Swim School operator, said he was devastated to hear another Indian national had drowned in our area on Monday.

Henk Greupink.
Henk Greupink.

He said he had already been planning the water awareness programme for adults because he saw a gap in the market.

"We do classes for our kids but not for adults."

He said there were several migrants in Rotorua who could benefit from the classes.

"We will teach them to swim and what to do in the water and how to save themselves."

Mr Greupink said he felt over-confidence was where many migrants went wrong.

"They aren't aware of the strength and power of the water."

At least six Indian nationals have drowned in the Bay of Plenty area since 2010. Two drowned in November last year at Lake McLaren, one at Ohope Beach, one at Lake Taupo and another at Lake Tarawera.

Read more:
Fight to save drowning man: 'I keep seeing that boy's face ... we did everything we could'
Death prompts safety reminder

The deaths prompted the Rotorua Aquatic Centre to educate the city's migrant community on water safety by employing an Indian swim instructor.

Amardeep Singh said in November last year he wanted to teach fellow Indians how to swim because of the rates of Indian drownings here.

Meanwhile, a workshop in Rotorua next weekend aims to help new migrants be safe while having fun in the water.

For nearly two years the Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua has been providing a face-to-face information service for new migrants under a contract with the Ministry of Immigration.

Its next workshop will be held on Saturday, February 23 between 10.30am and noon at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre. The workshop will cover how to be safe while having fun in the water.

The seminar is free for new migrants who have been in New Zealand two years or less. Those wanting to take part need to register at the bureau by today.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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