Mount Maunganui to Host SLSNZ’s Top Lifeguard Training School

Tuesday, 2 April 2024

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is excited to announce that Mount Maunganui will host the country’s premier surf lifeguard training school this year.


National Lifeguard School is a three-day programme for the country’s fastest, fittest, and most committed surf lifeguards.


Belinda Slement, SLSNZ’s Education Manager, said, “This is the crème de la crème for surf lifeguards in New Zealand as on completion, all candidates will receive SLSNZ’s highest surf lifeguard qualification – the Advanced Lifeguard Award.”


For the past three years, it has been held at Waihi Beach in the Bay of Plenty.  However, this year, the school will be making the move to Mount Maunganui.


Slement said, “Finding a location that meets all the criteria needed for National Lifeguard School is not easy as the list of requirements is long and varied.  However, Mount Maunganui fits the bill with its beaches, harbour, inshore island, rock environments, and member accessibility.  We’re also excited to be hosted by Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, which plays an important role in our Surf Life Saving community as it stands watch over some of the country’s busiest beaches.”


The school will run from 28 November until 1 December, with applications for candidates opening in September.


Slement said, “Candidates must be 18 years old and meet a number of prerequisites, including running three kilometres in under 20 minutes and swimming 800 metres in under 14 minutes.  For many, the swim is one of the toughest challenges, however, if surf lifeguards are keen to attend the school, they still have plenty of time to work on their fitness.”


This year, for the first time ever, the Rock Training and Rescue Module is also a prerequisite for the school and the Advanced Lifeguard Award.


Slement said, “This ensures all attendees have a really good base knowledge of working on rocks and with that certainty, it will allow us to concentrate on much more advanced rock work that will better equip the surf lifeguards.”


During the school, seven instructors and four mentors, who are some of the best surf lifeguards in the country, will teach and guide the candidates through advanced lifesaving skills.  Applications for instructors and mentors open in August.


For more information, click here or email