MEDIA RELEASE

14th January 2018

Poor and uneducated show up in river statistics

There’s new evidence released today by the Swim Fresh campaign that vulnerable New Zealanders are missing out on the Kiwi experience of being by fresh water.

A Horizon poll in December of 1100 New Zealanders found that the single largest group of people who do not visit rivers and lakes are most likely poor, unemployed and uneducated.

Over one quarter of those earning under $50,000 annually had never visited a river of lake in the past year. 41% of the unemployed and beneficiaries had never visited. 60% and 70% of people with no or low high school qualifications had not visited.

This contrasted with people with higher household and personal incomes, and with higher education, who were more likely to have been beside waterways in the past 12 months – almost double the likelihood in some cases.

Swim Fresh boss Mark Blackham said the statistic was a worrying sign about changes in the fabric of New Zealand life and experience.

“Visiting and swimming in our rivers is last great free Kiwi experience within reach of almost all of us.

“Natural water locations have been proven to help people feel happier about themselves and about life in general. Swimming has an even stronger effect.

“It’s sad that people, and especially the young, who could most benefit from what the countryside has to offer, are not able to use it.

“Despite some unwelcome news in recent times about river water quality, there’s still plenty of places to visit for picnics, walks and swims. Many are within a short drive or ride of suburbs. Call your regional council to find out a place closest to you,” Mark said.

Swim Fresh is a not for profit campaign proudly conceived, organised and funded by BlacklandPR; staffed by students at Massey University Wellington School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing; and aided by Eighty One and Loop.

Visit www.swimfresh.org.nz for information on the data cited in this release.

ENDS

MEDIA RELEASE

11th January 2018

Newsflash: Kiwis won’t swim in rivers because they’re too cold

There’s evidence in a new survey released today by the Swim Fresh campaign, that New Zealanders have gone soft.

The Horizon poll in December of 1100 New Zealanders found that while we spend a lot of time by fresh water, few of us swim in them.

79% of respondents reported having visited rivers and lakes at least once in the past year. But 62% of respondents said they had not even swum once in fresh water.

Swim Fresh campaign boss Mark Blackham said it was heartening to see so many New Zealanders enjoyed at least one visit to a stream each year.

“If you really care about rivers, challenge yourself to a bracing swim this summer.

One third of those who visited over the previous year went more than once a month, and another third once every two months. The other third went fewer than five times in the previous year.

The small number of swimmers is an intriguing discovery, given the considerable attention given to the issue of “swimmable” water quality.

The most cited reason for not swimming is that the water is too cold (32%), followed by concern about water quality (29%). Yet another 24% of Kiwis say swimming in rivers is not even a thing they consider.

On a positive note, the more often Kiwis visit waterways, the more likely they are to swim (about 3 swims for every 10 visits). Yet those who visit waterways are also more likely to cite concern about quality as a reason for not swimming.

“What we see in the data is that the more often you visit our fresh waterways, the more you care about them, and the more likely you are to go for a swim.”

Swim Fresh is a not for profit campaign proudly conceived, organised and funded by BlacklandPR; staffed by students at Massey University Wellington School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing; and aided by Eighty One and Loop.

Visit www.swimfresh.org.nz for information on the data cited in this release.

ENDS

 

MEDIA RELEASE

2nd January 2018

Kiwis challenged to “Swim Fresh” this summer

A campaign starts today to challenge Kiwis to swim in rivers and lakes this summer.

Swim Fresh is a social media effort by Massey University students and BlacklandPR to call on Kiwis to show love for their rivers and lakes.

“Your New Year resolution should be to get your feet wet in a Kiwi river,” says Swim Fresh boss Mark Blackham.

“Our waterways are the cleanest and most scenic in the world. But there are some problems. We need to show we care by visiting them this summer and swimming where we can.

“We plan to enlist all Kiwis to express their love for our waterways by getting their feet wet and sharing their Swim Fresh moments with the country.

“Koura, our campaign mascot, uses the great LAWA site to make it easy for people to find the best water holes and summer hangouts.

“Koura knows all the secret spots and will show you where’s fresh.

“Find your spot, take the plunge and share your favourite Swim Fresh moment on Twitter, Instragram, Snapchat and Facebook and hashtagging #SwimFresh, #KouraSwimFresh or #KouraCrayfish.”

Swim Fresh is a not for profit campaign proudly conceived, organised and funded by BlacklandPR; staffed by students at Massey University Wellington School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing; and aided by the creative folk at Eighty One.

Visit www.swimfresh.org.nz for more information.

ENDS