Wellington Scoop

Choosing their words strangely

The police can’t cope with drownings. They’ve stopped using the “drowning” word. Their choice to replace it: “Water related incidents.”

Yesterday the police told us about two water-related incidents.

An RNZ report also struggled for different ways to avoid saying what had happened. They came up with “deaths at beaches…” and then “water-related deaths…”

But when this might have led us to believe that we are free of drownings, a statement arrived from Water Safety NZ. No “water-related incidents” for them:

“Unfortunately, too many New Zealanders are still drowning. There have been five preventable drowning deaths on average over the past five summer holiday periods. WSNZ wants zero drowning fatalities this holiday period and we need everyone to take personal responsibility for their safety and that of those they care for if we are to avoid drowning fatalities this summer.”

They haven’t achieved their aim, if the police reports about water-related incidents are any indication.

An RNZ report today also decided to be more direct about drownings, and told us that there’ve been 12 this month so far. Drownings, not incidents.

But there’s more.

TVOne News has found a new category to report: tonight it told us there’d been some “fatal drownings.”

We await their next bulletin, when they will be telling us about other categories of drownings. Non-fatal ones perhaps?

No comments yet.

Write a comment: