Coastal News February 2016

Columns
Thursday, February 18, 2016

February is always a busy month here in Whangamata. Summertime holiday events are a hallmark of our region and there has been plenty to do, see and experience.

Many of those wonderful experiences are centred on our precious and very beautiful natural environment. 

However at this time of the year water safety is really important and sadly this summer season has been a shocker in terms of drownings.

On average 103 people die in New Zealand waters each year. Drownings are largely preventable. The main reason people get into trouble in the water is because they underestimate the risk and conditions, or overestimate their ability.

New Zealand is among four OECD countries with the highest rate of drownings by population.

Males, especially young men aged 15-24 years, and small children feature prominently in the drowning statistics.

There have already been too many unnecessary deaths by drowning this summer and already too many near drownings too.

So please, do take extra special care out and about in, on or near water. I want this summer to be remembered for the fun and enjoyment people have had in Whangamata and around the Coromandel, not because a loved one died by drowning.

One of the most significant events for 2016 occurred recently with the formal signing of the    Trans Pacific Partnership, an important step in our efforts for obtaining a better deal in trade for our country.

Too often we forget that our hospitals and schools come from the wealth created on our farms, factories and services. As New Zealanders we all want improving services but we have to pay for them.

Those services come from the taxes that are generated by increased trade and profits many of which come from our very productive region.

The next step in the process is a full Parliamentary examination of the text together with a National Interest Analysis by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.

During this time, the public will be invited to make submissions as part of the consultation process as it should be.

Please never hesitate to make contact with me if I can be of assistance with any matter. For an appointment you can phone my electorate office on 07 868-3529. email: mpcoromandel@parliament.govt.nz

ENDS