Health & Safety

OC2 Huli in Nelson Haven

Health & Safety

Keeping safe on the water

Keeping safe on the water is mostly a matter of preparation, common sense and experience. Things happen, weather changes, there are other boats on the water, so we need to be prepared.

Waka Ama New Zealand and Water Safety New Zealand are partnering

Waka Ama New Zealand and Water Safety New Zealand are partnering to help our waka ama community and our wider whānau to be safer in and around the water.

Waka Ama Water Safety Basics Booklet

Water safety is a fundamental element within waka ama. The purpose of this booklet is to educate our waka ama whānau in six key areas of water safety in relation to waka ama.
These key areas are:

  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFD)
  • The environment
  • Marine Weather Conditions
  • Communication
  • Equipment Required
  • and Maritime Laws

This booklet aims to provide new and existing members with basic water safety information so they feel safe and able when heading out on the water.

There should be a copy of the booklet in the shed.

You can download their booklet: Waka Ama Water Safety Basics booklet

Maitahi club Water Safety Officer

One of these waka ama water safety initiatives is for each Club to designate a Water Safety Officer. Our safety officer can be reached at [email protected]

Been involved in an Incident?

If you are involved in an incident on the water when paddling please notify the Health & Safety Officer and fill in an incident report.


What is in the safety bag?

A safety bag must be carried in every waka for every journey. It should contain:

  • spare lashings
  • hand held flare
  • VHF radio
  • ponchos
  • multitool or knife


What is a Huli?

A huli (capsize) is when the waka capsizes.

See the Waka Ama NZ procedure

Watch Waka Ama NZ's offical Flip & Float video

The purpose of this video is to provide our clubs, paddlers and community with an online resource that educates our waka ama whānau in the area of water safety.

Every club might have a slightly different approach. We sometimes do pool drills and 'at sea' drills within the club. Below is a video of the Maitahi Muppets huli in the Richmond Aquatic Centre.

We have regular capsize drills so our members know what it feels like and what to do. The most important thing is listen to the steerer.

Download the Huli Procedure