Local councils do heavy lifting for Surf Life Saving funds


Kiwis across the country will soon be ditching work for the beach. Lifeguards will be kicking off full-time duties 7-days a week starting this weekend.

Surf Lifesaving Northern Region chief executive Matt Williams joins The AM Show to discuss the swimming season and the lack of funding. 

“We get zero central government funding,” he says. “…Zero, nada.”

He explains that local councils, on the other hand, “work their butts off to support us.”

According to Surf Life Saving Northern Region, lifeguards across the Northern Region have spent over 83,491 hours patrolling beaches and undertaken 652 rescues this season.

Some councils don’t have the funds to support it.

Mr Williams points out that some of the biggest clubs on some of the country’s most dangerous beaches – think Katikati and Piha – might struggle with future funding.

“They are projected to have their funding go backwards.”

“At the same time, councils are asking more from us,” he says. 

Watch the full interview with Matt Williams above. 

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.