Council won’t ban wharf jumping
Auckland Council won’t ban jumping at popular water spots this summer, despite fears that swimmers could end up dead or seriously injured.
A number of young men have become quadriplegics after jumping off the wharf at Maraetai Beach and suffering spinal injuries.
However, previous attempts by the council to ban diving at danger spots had failed, and it now takes a different approach.
Auckland Council acting head of operational management and maintenance Simon Randall said it could not control how people chose to act.
‘‘We’ve stopped using signs that ban diving as people often ignore them,’’ Randall said.
‘‘Our signs are now informative and educational, and including warning of risks.’’
ACC had 230 claims last year for injuries suffered at jumping or diving structures around the country, ranging from cuts and bruises to surgery for shattered ankles and damaged spines.
That’s a sharp increase on previous years, which has prompted calls for national action.
Auckland Council has been conducting a review of safety signage around swimming spots.
It is also engaging communities to try improve safety, and is working with agencies such as Watersafe to increase safety awareness.
The wharf at Maraetai Beach in Auckland is a popular but dangerous jumping spot.