Tips to keep you out of the kaka this summer

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Launching for summer, New Zealand Post and Māori Television have produced three water safety commercials with an important message – kia maanu, kia ora (stay afloat, stay alive).

Māori are overrepresented in drowning statistics, and the commercials are based around mahinga kai (collecting food) and use the bolshie, sassy and inappropriate Nani Pupu, played by Brent Mio, to deliver the often uninvited safety messages specifically to a Māori audience.

New Zealand Post briefed the Māori Television creative team to create a campaign that targets unprepared and overconfident Māori males who’ve spent their life around the water.

“We wanted the commercials to be engaging and to resonate with viewers, informing them about the dangers without scaring them off,” New Zealand Post spokesperson Charles Ropitini said.

“Working with Māori Television was a great way to reach our target audience.”

Ropitini said water safety awareness was one of the ways New Zealand Post backed local communities, along with literacy programmes and its ActivePost support for schools and clubs to get kids active by playing sport.

Mio’s Nani Pupu was well-received as a minor character in New Zealand Post’s previous campaign, Te Kupu o te Wiki. “So using her as the know-it-all Nani to deliver the water safety messages was an ideal fit for this campaign,” Ropitini said.

Executive producer and Māori Television sales manager Toni Urlich said: “We wanted to create a campaign that not only targeted those going out on the water, but also resonated with the whole whanau.

“We want wives, sisters, brothers, children and grandparents to all parrot Pupu’s nagging but well-meaning safety messages – be careful, check conditions, and wear a life jacket. Your guts isn’t a flotation device!”


View all the spots:

The facts:

  • Drowning data is sourced from Water Safety New Zealand’s DrownBase and the figures provided are provisional as at 11 November 2014.
  • There have been 56 drowning deaths within New Zealand year to date. Of these, 11 are Māori.
  • There were a total of 540 drowning deaths within New Zealand in the past five years (2009-2013).
  • Of these, 112 were Māori, which is a five year average of 22 Māori drowning deaths per year.
  • Māori constitute 14 per cent of the population, but 21 per cent of the five year drowning toll.
  • The five year average of male Māori drowning deaths is 20.
  • The recreational activities with the highest drowning toll of male Māori in the past five years are water sports (swimming, jumping), land based fishing (angling, net fishing, shell-fishing) and underwater (snorkelling, scuba diving, free diving) activities.

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