Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Auckland Council apologises to Muslim woman after ejection from West Wave Pools

Auckland Council apologises to Muslim woman after ejection from West Wave Pools
July 25, 2019

Auckland Council has blamed confusion about rules on appropriate swimwear for an “unfortunate” incident that saw a Muslim woman ejected from the West Wave Pools in the suburb of Henderson.

Amid confusion over that the woman was wearing, the Council has also apologised to her over the incident.

A witness to the incident said that the woman was part of a larger group that had swimwear on that covered her head down to the arms and legs, referring to the outfit as being a ‘burkini’ that was made of swimming-appropriate material.

The woman told the New Zealand Herald “one woman went into the pool with her kids and that’s when she was singled out by the lifeguard and told to leave.”

Auckland Council’s acting Manager of Active Recreation Jane Aickin said that the outfits the women were swimming in were not thought to be ‘burkinis’, also known as burqinis.

Originally designed in Australia by Aheda Zanetti as an option for women who want to conserve their modesty in respect of Islamic traditions, the term 'burkini' has become universal for any part or full body covering worn by Muslim women in aquatic and beach environments.

The centre’s website says that “appropriate” swimwear is to be worn at all times. While this includes swimming togs, shorts above the knee and rash top underwear and denim shorts are not permitted.

Aicken advised “we accept that this can be confusing at times and are working hard to try to clarify these rules for everyone.”

Islamic Women’s Council spokeswoman Anjum Rahman asked West Wave Pools to reconsider its swimwear policy to allow for swimwear that covers the full body, stating “it’s really important that all members of the community have public pools that are accessible to them both for water safety reasons and for recreation.

“Particularly living in a country like New Zealand, having water safety skills is hugely important and we know not enough Muslim women are getting those skills. I think Auckland council themselves have acknowledged that and are keen to improve accessibility so that’s why this incident is so unfortunate.”

Aickin has apologised and told one member of the group that she would be made to feel welcome on her next swimming pool visit.

Earlier this year a woman complained after she was singled out at Auckland council’s Albany Pool because her bikini was judged to be too skimpy.

A number of French municipalities have previously issued bans on Muslim women being covered and wearing burkinis at beaches in France.

Image: The wave pool at West Wave Pools.

Related Articles

17th May 2017 - Auburn swimming pool introduces privacy screen for Muslim women

9th April 2017 - Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan models the burkini

21st August 2016 - Burqini creator defends swimwear against French beach ban

30th November 2014 - Two West Wave staff win New Zealand Fitness Awards

5th February 2011 - New headscarf helps Muslim women swim safely

12th August 2010 - Muslim Women Expelled from French Swimming Pool

25th May 2010 - Adventure World Perth apologises for ban on Muslim Swimming Dress

10th November 2009 - West Wave Aquatic Centre named Waitakere’s best large business

14th September 2009 - Aussie Burqini a Global Success

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Recreation Management Software for managing all your program registrations, facility bookings, membership pass sales and Point of Sale; including detailed reporting, automated customer communication…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport


Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues


METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security



Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks



Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business