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

Important information re safety funding

We're sorry to report that the funding for this financial year (ending June 2015) is not being supported by Water Safety NZ as they are not targeting their efforts on whitewater kayaking safety this year. This is unfortunate and Whitewater New Zealand is appealing to Water Safety NZ to reconsider this position.

In the meantime though, we're sorry but there is no subsidy available. This position is likely to be revisited in March 2015 with funding available in June / July.

River Safety Courses

NZOIA and Whitewater NZ have defined syllabi for River Rescue Courses designed for whitewater kayaks and open canoes. These training courses are for recreational and professional paddlers to better enable them to safely paddle with their peers, when leading a group, or when providing an instructional or guided experience.  Whitewater NZ manages Water Safety New Zealand subsides for these courses for Whitewater NZ members.

River Safety Courses: Courses, Providers, Forms | River Rescue 1 | River Rescue 2

River rescue in progress, promoting river safety courses

River Rescue 1

This course must be directed by a current NZOIA Kayak II instructor. NZOIA and Whitewater NZ recommend that a ratio limit of 1:6 be applied with a Level 2 instructor and if numbers exceed this then an experienced Level 1 instructor be used to assist on the course with up to 10 participants.

River Rescue Level 1 is a pre-requisite for participation in the NZOIA Kayak Instructor Level 1 and NZOIA Canoe Instructor Level 1 assessments.

River Rescue 1 - Scope and Syllabus (HTML)
River Rescue 1 - Scope and Syllabus (PDF, 201KB)

River Rescue 1 - Trainer and Participant Guide - Kayak Version (PDF, 559KB)
River Rescue 1 - Trainer and Participant Guide - Canoe Version (PDF, 513KB)

(old) Review the River Safety syllabus

River Rescue 2

This course must be conducted by a current NZOIA Kayak II instructor. NZOIA and Whitewater NZ recommend that a ratio limit of 1:6 be applied. River Rescue 1 is a pre-requisite to attending River Rescue 2.

River Rescue 2 - Scope and Syllabus (HTML)
River Rescue 2 - Scope and Syllabus (PDF, 200KB)

River Rescue 2 - Trainer and Participant Guide (PDF, 485KB)

(old) Review the River Rescue syllabus

Course subsidies

Subject to availability, funding will be paid out to Individual or Club members who apply on a first-come, first-served basis. Members should contact the Safety Officer at safety@rivers.org.nz, via phone or email well before the course to check (a) that your course complies with the funding requirements and (b) that funding is available. After the course, use the River Safety/Rescue Subsidy form to confirm how many attended and who instructed.

Course Providers

These NZOIA Kayak 2 award holders are available for River Safety courses. These NZOIA Kayak II instructors allow you to qualify for a Safety course subsidy.

List of Kayak 2 Award Holders in New Zealand (c/- NZOIA).

Forms and Certificates


These Kayak Safety or Rescue Certificates are available for Instructors to print out or they can be printed out by Participants prior to the course and signed by the Instructor on completion of the course:

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