[18 January] The ACC has launched public consultation on the Drowning Prevention Strategy. Drowning is the third highest cause of unintentional death in New Zealand, surpassed only by road vehicle crashes and accidental falls, and water safety is an issue for all kayakers. The strategy touches on a number of areas of concern to kayakers including the role and competence of the MNZ in investigation and analysis of kayaking related incidents/accidents, the controversial Rule Part 91, the role of Water Safety NZ and the future for subsidised River Safety Courses, the future of the Tasman Whitewater Response Unit and similar groups, jetboats on rivers, the attitude and understanding of Police (Kayaker ordered off Maitai, July 1999) and Harbour Masters (Huka descents ‘total stupidity’, December 1999), quality of Police advice, signage on rivers, design of artificial river works and control structures, the future of the NZRCA Incident/Accident Database, the extent of mitigation of hazards such as Rock ‘A’ and more. The NZRCA will be making a submission, but clubs and interested individuals should also make their views known. As usual, please copy the NZRCA with your submission, so we know where you stand. Submissions are due by 18 February 2005. Update 22 February: The NZRCA’s submission is online.