Rotorua Weekender

Lifejacket exchange returns


Coastguard’s Old4new Lifejacket Upgrade Campaign is back for this summer, following last season’s hiatus due to Covid.

To make up for last year, Old4new is 30 per cent longer and travelling to 30 per cent more locations — heading to 80 popular boating hotspots between Houhora in the north and Invercargi­ll in the south.

The campaign will be in Rotorua on Tuesday, January 17, 9am to 12pm, at Telfer Marine Rotorua, 236 Te Ngae Rd.

Already in 2022, Water Safety New Zealand has recorded 74 preventabl­e drowning fatalities, up 15 per cent on figures at the same time in 2021.

Coastguard chief executive Callum Gillespie says Old4new is a valuable community initiative that aims to prevent needless drownings out on the water.

“We have seen a high number of water-related incidents up and down New Zealand over the past year. We know that not wearing lifejacket­s is one of the most common factors in incidents we attend — something we want to change immediatel­y.”

The Old4new Lifejacket Upgrade is one of Coastguard’s leading water safety initiative­s, with the aim to remove as many ill-fitting, damaged and old lifejacket­s from circulatio­n as possible.

Kiwis have the opportunit­y to trade in their old lifejacket­s for a great discount on a range of new, modern, fit-for-purpose Hutchwilco lifejacket­s.

Each year Old4new community ambassador Lolah Yee sees lifejacket­s of all conditions being traded in.

“Like all pieces of boating equipment, lifejacket­s deteriorat­e and wear over time. In fact, some lifejacket­s that were considered safe some years ago, like the old kapok-filled lifejacket­s can be a hazard to you if it gets waterlogge­d,” she says.

“Old4new is a fantastic way for everyone to access new, properfitt­ing lifejacket­s that could save you and your family’s life in an emergency.”

Over the past nine years more than 20,000 boaties have traded in their old, damaged or worn lifejacket­s for discounts on brand new, modern Hutchwilco lifejacket­s — meaning more than 20,000 Kiwis are now safer on the water.

If you can’t make it to one of the van locations this year, retailer Boating and Outdoors will once again be offering the Old4new Upgrade in select stores around the country.

For more informatio­n and a full location schedule go to or contact Coastguard on 0800 BOATIE (262 843).

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