Progress Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships

My last post highlighted the safety issues involved in using the Hamilton Pool for the 2017 New Zealand Secondary School Swimming Championships. At 1.15m the pool is too shallow to safely allow starting block dive starts.

So what have I done to have this problem addressed?

Well, first of all, I have not contacted Swimming New Zealand. “Why not?” I hear you ask. “Swimming New Zealand is organizing the meet. Surely they should be approached first.” Please remember that this is the third time I have complained about the decision of Swimming New Zealand to use a shallow pool. On the three previous occasions I have paid a protest fee of $50 to Swimming New Zealand. Three times my concern has been rejected and Swimming New Zealand has kept my $50. And on the last occasion the Chairman used the organization’s Annual Report to say that, because of the protest, I was a person with no credibility. And so I am sure you will understand that having spent $150 already and having had my character insulted I am reluctant to go back for more. However if any reader has a spare $100 – the fee has gone up since I last filed a protest – I’m happy to try Swimming New Zealand again.

In the meantime I thought I’d look to other bodies that might have more interest in the health and safety of New Zealand secondary school swimmers. Is anyone in New Zealand interested in the fact that the Hamilton Pool does not meet Swimming New Zealand or FINA depth standards?

And so I prepared an email. This is what it said:

“Good Morning

On September 15 the New Zealand Secondary Schools Swimming Championships are due to be held at the Te Rapa Waterworld Pool in Hamilton.

Before schools enter students in this event they should be aware that the pool does not comply with minimum safety standards. Swimming New Zealand and the world governing body of swimming, FINA, both publish policy documents regarding the depth of pools where swimmers are diving from starting blocks.

The depth of the Hamilton Pool is 1.15m and that is well short of the minimum depth required by both the Swimming New Zealand and FINA rules. If the competition is held at the Te Rapa Waterworld Pool swimmers taking part will be required to dive into a pool classified as unsafe by the New Zealand and world governing bodies for swimming.

It is important schools are aware of this problem before entering the event. Diving into a shallow pool that does not comply with safety standards can cause serious injury or death. It is a serious health and safety issue that should not be ignored or allowed to pass by default. The attached Swimwatch blog article provides further clarification.

The  Swimming New Zealand minimum depth rules can be found here.

The FINA, world governing body, rules can be found here.

Rule FR 2.3


David Wright

Swimwatch Contributor“

And I have sent the email to the following organisations and individuals.

  1. The New Zealand Education Department
  2. The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers Association
  3. Worksafe New Zealand
  4. Hamilton City Council
  5. The New Secondary Schools Sports Council
  6. Hamilton Councillors: Paula Southgate, Mark Bunting, Dave Macpherson, James Casson, Andrew King, Martin Gallagher, Garry Mallett, Rob Pascoe, Philip Yeung, Angela Oleary, Geoff Taylor and Leo Tooman
  7. Recreation New Zealand
  8. Watersafety New Zealand

I have only had one reply. The New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council emailed to thank me and say they were contacting Swimming New Zealand. I do hope they have more luck than me. They need to be careful though. Asking questions about the depth of a Swimming New Zealand pool could earn them an insult in next year’s Annual Report.

I am sure you will agree that just about everybody with an interest in water-safety now knows the Hamilton Pool is too shallow. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone takes pool safety seriously. I will let you know.      


0 responses. Leave a Reply

  1. Swimwatch


    Be the first to leave a comment!

Comments are closed.