Cook Islanders to receive hundreds of donated life jackets

By Jessica Tyson

Cook Island communities are set to receive hundreds of free life jackets donated from the Old4New life jacket upgrade campaign run by Coastguard New Zealand.

As part of the campaign, New Zealanders take their old life jackets to the Old4New van and receive a discount on new life jackets.

The traded-in jackets of good quality are then kept and sent to communities across the Pacific Islands.  

Coastguard New Zealand Chief Executive, Patrick Holmes says since the start of the campaign in 2014 almost 1,800 lifejackets have been donated to Pacific communities.

“These life jackets ensure that local fishermen don’t risk their lives while out at sea and that local children are kept safe on their commute to school.  They help ensure the safety of at-risk communities as they provide for their families and go about their daily tasks," says Holmes.

“We’re extremely grateful to Matson Shipping for transporting the life jackets to the Cook Islands this year and to the Rarotonga Sailing Club for distributing them once they reach the Islands”.

Last summer over 3,600 lifejackets were traded in when the Old4New van visit 55 communities around Aotearoa.

“We’re incredibly proud of the difference this campaign is making in our communities in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands,” says Holmes.