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Lifeguards threatened by parent of unattended child at Makino Aquatic Centre

Lifeguards threatened by parent of unattended child at Makino Aquatic Centre
December 27, 2018

A parent who left their child swimming unsupervised launched a tirade of abuse and threatened lifeguards at Feilding's Makino Aquatic Centre in the week before Christmas.

The incident, which resulted in Police intervening, followed staff at the North Island facility having clamped down over recent months on parents leaving toddlers and young children to swim alone.

Commenting on the incident, Manawatū District Council Human Resources Officer Bridget Simpson told Stuff New Zealand that the parent launched a tirade of abuse towards lifeguards who were explaining the policy that required children under eight year not to be left alone.

When asked to leave, the parent made threats and was trespassed when Police arrived (Under New Zealand's Trespass Act 1980, Trespassing can include behaviour where someone refuses to leave a property after being asked to).    

It was one of four incidents at the Aquatic Centre this year, three of which required Police action.

Police were forced to trespass another adult who didn't want to pay to use the facility. When denied access, the 'disgruntled ratepayer' began kicking the front counter and screaming obscenities.

Five other adults abused staff and made offensive gestures when asked to stop doing bombs in the pool. They refused to leave when asked and were trespassed.

Editor's note: At Australasian Leisure Management we have become aware that instances such as these are not uncommon. Given that they are seldom reported, we invite managers and professionals of aquatic facilities to share their experiences of similar incidents so that we may highlight this issue.

Please contact Karen Sweaney, Editor on

Image courtesy of Kingspan.

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