High numbers of Pacific people drowning in New Zealand waters have led to several government water safety initiatives targeting Pacific and Maori communities.

An event today at Auckland's Mangere Bridge is promoting a new initiative, the Folau Malu Project.

Folau Malu helps deliver boat safety messages.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges says this year, fatalities on the water have been particularly bad.


"Amongst the Pasifika community there have been 12 fatalities, four are on vessels specifically.

"I think it is a question basically of some pretty strong common sense messages just not getting through."

The event is being held where a father and son died in a boating incident in May this year.