Waitangi Weekend: Thanks for a safe summer

2nd February 2021|2min

A big thank you to NZers for being safety conscious this summer. The NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) is thanking New Zealanders for being extra safety smart this summer as no land-based outdoor recreation fatalities were recorded during December and January, for the first time in 14 years.

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 February 2021

MSC are encouraging the fatality-free streak to continue through Waitangi Weekend, traditionally one of the country’s busiest long weekends in the outdoors.

Over the past decade, there have been twice as many tramping injuries and search and rescue call outs during Waitangi Weekend compared to a typical weekend, according to MSC insights.

Since 2007, on average there are 3.7 deaths over the December and January period involving land-based outdoor recreation activities, including multi-day tramps and day walks, mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking and hunting.

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley congratulates New Zealander’s great work on being safety conscious this summer.

“As we expected, our outdoors have been thoroughly explored by curious New Zealanders making the most of the fantastic summer weather over the past two months whether it be mountain biking, out for a day walk or tackling a Great Walk. “As the summer weather continues, we are asking that everyone takes extra care this Waitangi Weekend to ensure they have a great, safe experience and that their personal safety is the priority,” Daisley says.

Be sure to check MetService for the long weekend weather and be flexible enough to change your plans if the weather doesn’t look great for your adventure. Take some time to prepare for any outdoor trip by using some Mountain Safety Council free online resources. Refer to the new New Zealand Land Safety Code:

1. Choose the right trip for you: Learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.

2. Understand the weather: It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.

3. Pack warm clothes and extra food: Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.

4. Share your plans and take ways to get help: Telling a trusted friend your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.

5. Take care of yourself and each other: Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.

DATA: Since 2007, only counting December and January, a total of 48 people have died while participating in a land-based (personal) outdoor recreation activity. Of them, 28 were NewZealanders, or 58%. The only December/January periods which have not recorded a New Zealand fatality were 2013/14 and 2017/18.