There were 96 drownings in 2008 according to the Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) in their 2008 Drowning Report, 14 down on 2007 (110).
While one might be pleased to see this drop the report's release follows a disturbingly high Holiday Drowning Toll of 10 which is above the five-year average* of seven.
The average annual drowning toll for the five-year period is 114 and 2008 (96) is the second lowest since records began in 1980.
The report highlights an increase in recreational drownings with 60 (63%), eight above the five-year average of 52.
"The large numbers of recreational drownings indicate New Zealanders have a lack of ability of ability and knowledge to enjoy the water safely," says Matt Claridge, WSNZ General Manager.
WSNZ maintains an extensive database, DrownBase™, capturing all the drowning incidents in New Zealand.
For the full report and further details on the 2008 and 2009 statistics visit the WSNZ website www.watersafety.org.nz
For Auckland regional, and other statists visit the Statistics page on this website.
* Period 2003-2007