Water safety and the value of interdisciplinary approaches: a concluding dip

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review


This collection of articles reveals some of the diverse recreational relationships that New Zealanders and Australians have with fresh and saltwater environments, from surfing to river crossing, competitive swimming to surf lifesaving, and, aquatics education to waka ama. Within each of these different fluid environments, there exists diverse sets of values, attitudes, identities, risks and joys. The associated pedagogical work, which Richard Tinning (2010) defines broadly as the re/production of knowledge, ideals and beliefs, is subsequently complex. The complexity of this pedagogical work requires a broadened understanding of water safety. Although water safety focuses on drowning prevention, it is also concerned with fostering enjoyment and wider issues such as safety issues associated with diverse cultural beliefs (e.g. tikanga Maori), identities (e.g. via challenging sexism in surf cultures), social practices (e.g. religion and women-only swimming times), the environment (e.g. ecology), and learning opportunities (e.g. attempting to retain school pools). This expanded view of water safety concomitantly challenges researchers, health and physical educators, and Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-34
Number of pages3
JournalNew Zealand Physical Educator
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • water safety
  • Interdisciplinarity

Cite this