Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

About the Accident/Incident Database

Overview of the Whitewater NZ Accident/Incident Database, scope and data definitions.

The Whitewater NZ Accident/Incident Database is intended to provide a definitive record of whitewater kayaking and canoeing incidents in New Zealand to raise awareness of the kayaking community regarding hazards and rescue techniques. The database will aggregate information from the Maritime NZ, WSNZ, NZ Canoeing and other sources.


The scope is incidents in NZ only, with a focus on canoe and kayak incidents on moving water (raft and lake incidents may be added later).


At a recent meeting the WWNZ Executive decided that policy will be along these lines:

  1. Victim's names will be recorded for cross-referencing purposes only. Names of victims, group members, clubs and organisations won't be included in the report, but may already be listed in collateral documentation (ie. Maritime NZ reports, newspaper articles, etc.)
  2. The WWNZ will use its best endeavours to obtain consent from the person involved in a Non-fatal incident (Injury incident, Near miss), unless the report has already been published or reported.
  3. Ideally all reports should be from someone with first-hand knowledge of the incident, or corroborated by a witness.
  4. The WWNZ claims copyright over the database content, with permission required for re-publication.


Incident Any event or occurrence that causes or has the potential to cause harm (ie. near misses)
Accident An incident that causes harm or death.

  • Id: A unique identifier for each Incident (currently based on date) {Text[10]}.
  • DateTime: Date and time of incident {YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS+12:00} per W3C Note-datetime.
  • Type: One of Fatal accident | Injury incident | Near-miss {Text}.
  • Type Modifier: One of Entrapment-Tree | Entrapment-Sieve | Entrapment-Other | Swim | Shoulder dislocation | Other {Text}.
  • Victim(s): The person(s) at risk of harm, or who suffered harm in the incident. Since names are suppressed, a nationality, sex and age are listed when known.
  • Name: Name of the person(s) at risk of harm, or who suffers harm in the incident. Used for cross-referencing purposes but not list in database. The name may exist in supplementary documents [Text].
  • Location: Region/River/Section[/Feature] where Region is from Regional Council boundaries.
  • Location Description: Additional description of the location.
  • Class: From International Scale of River Difficulty: I, II, III, IV, V, VI.
  • Flow: Flow in cumecs, with a potential comment.
  • Relative Flow: One of Low | Medium | High.
  • Boat Type: One of Canoe-1 person | Canoe-2 person | Kayak-Creek | Kayak-Playboat | Kayak-Touring | Kayak-Racing | Raft | Inflatable | Other.
  • Boat Description: Manufacturer and Model.
  • Trip Type: One of Commerical | Club | Education | Private.
  • Summary: Objective summary of facts regarding the incident.
  • Discussion: Subjective analysis of the incident and recommendations for safe practice.
  • Documents: Citations or links to supporting documentation including newspaper articles, MSA reports, articles and so on.
  • Reporter The name of the person(s) reporting the incident.
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