Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade launches nationwide

For more information on Old4New, including the location schedule, price list, FAQ sheet and posters, please click here.


Coastguard is excited to announce the launch of the Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade for 2016, a popular and highly successful boating safety initiative which for the first time this year is going nationwide.

24 hours a day and 365 days a year, Coastguard is there for boaties and our communities as the charity saving lives at sea. As part of our mission – saving lives at sea through search and rescue, communication and education – the ‘Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade’ campaign is again launching in time for summer.

The ‘Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade’ van, kindly supplied free-of-charge by Giltrap Group and laden with lifejackets, will be visiting over 35 major boat ramps and locations throughout the country on weekends and key days throughout the busy summer holiday period.

The Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade is simple and effective: bring your old or damaged lifejacket to the Old4New team at one of the many pre-advertised locations, and receive a discount on a quality, modern and fit-for-purpose Hutchwilco lifejacket. Boaties and members of the public are encouraged to visit the van and trade in their old lifejackets, where they can also get advice about boating and water safety from the friendly team on site at each location.

The Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade forms a key part of Coastguard’s advocacy for safe and enjoyable boating over the 2016/17 summer boating season. Only 70% of boaties say they wear a lifejacket at all times on the water. This rate is highest for kayakers and canoeists (83%), and falls to just over 60% for people in power boats and 55% for people in sail boats. And given that the majority of boating fatalities could have been prevented had the person been wearing a lifejacket, the Old4New campaign aims to help save lives and change attitudes.

“While the increasing use of lifejackets has resulted in lives being saved, the failure to wear lifejackets in small craft that are prone to capsize, especially those under 6m in length, remains the primary reason why lives are lost in boating accidents. The Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign makes it really easy for boaties to ensure they have the correct number and type of lifejackets on board” said Patrick Holmes, CEO, Coastguard New Zealand.

The Skipper must ensure that their vessel carries the appropriate number and size of lifejackets for each person on board and on craft less than 6 metres, Coastguard recommends lifejackets should be worn at all times unless so directed by the Skipper.

The Old4New Lifejacket campaign, originally based on a concept run in Australia by Transport New South Wales and launched for the first time in New Zealand in 2014, has seen over 4,000 lifejackets traded. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of lifejackets while also taking practical steps to address the issue. At the end of the campaign, Coastguard will also distribute good condition traded-in lifejackets (that still meet NZ Standards) to communities in need.

The campaign is made possible with the support of Maritime New Zealand, as well as quality lifejacket manufacturer Hutchwilco and kiwi vehicle distributor Giltrap Group – both proudly New Zealand-owned companies supporting boating safety. In addition, the Boating & Outdoors group are supporting the initiative by offering the trade-in at their 23 stores nationwide, from Northland to Invercargill, during specific weeks of the campaign.

The initiative kicks off on Saturday 3 December at 8.00am at the Half Moon Bay Boat Ramp in Auckland and continues to visit popular waterside destinations until early February 2017. 

  • Hutchwilco
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • NZCT
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity
  • Century Batteries
  • Bellingham Wallace
  • Soudal