We are very lucky to have some breathtaking waterfronts and lakefronts in our country.
Queenstown, Taupō, Wellington and Whakatāne come to mind.
All stunning in their own right: The majestic Remarkables being the backdrop for Lake Wakatipu, the sheer vastness of beautiful Lake Taupō, the picturesque Wellington Harbour and the Whakatāne walkway and river mouth in all its moods.
I don't recall any of these great waterfronts with any obvious safety barriers.
Perhaps they're there, lips, edging, low walls or railings, cleverly built into the designs, walkways strategically leading us away from danger, keeping us safe without us even realising, and without intruding on the area's natural beauty.
When the Tauranga waterfront revamp opened in 2017 to rave reviews, people flocked to it. The $3.2 million pier, pontoon and tidal steps were a part of an $8m city revamp.
There were concerns raised during the construction of the tidal stairs that when the tide was running it could sweep unsuspecting and unsupervised children away.
After the newly refurbished area was opened, the majority of comments were positive labelling it an asset to Tauranga and a credit to the council.
There were a few who expressed concerns about the slipperiness of the steps, how dangerous they might be and the possible need to fence the area off.
The Tauranga City Council, at the time, said safety measures and research into the design had been taken into account, including a hydrological study of the water flows, physical barriers to the steps, ladders, fencing on the pier, signage and rescue equipment.
There was even anti-slip treatment added to the tidal stairs.
To my knowledge, nothing untoward has happened, despite the project being complete since 2017.
In my opinion, the council did everything it should have to mitigate the risks, and it seems to have paid off.
In Rotorua, stage one of the $40m Lakefront redevelopment has opened to mixed reviews.
Concerns were voiced, well before the opening, that it may be unsafe for children and people on bikes and scooters.
Then, lo and behold, a young child riding a trike, falls into the water.
While the child's parents were there watching and supervising, he still managed to take a tumble.
It was just unfortunate that it was into Lake Rotorua.
While it must have been a frightening experience for the boy and distressing for his parents, this highlights perfectly why small children require close supervision around such dangers.
He would have been supervised even if he was on a regular footpath on the side of the road, or a walkway.
Accidents can happen, no matter what preventative measures are taken - there's a risk stepping out of your house every day.
However, I believe there is an onus on councils to ensure public safety on these types of water projects especially when they are designed to attract people, and in particular, children.
The council assures us the boardwalk design meets all health and safety requirements.
I can also see what the design may be trying to do here, the boardwalk looks like it's floating on the water, and blends seamlessly into the landscape. I count Rotorua Lakefront among the best waterfronts in Aotearoa.
Yes, parents have a responsibility to supervise their children but, in my view, the council should compromise and adjust the height of the lip bordering the boardwalk so the public at least feels safe taking their children there.