Taps off for the Pacific

  • 01/03/2017

New Zealanders are being challenged to go a day without turning on a tap in an Oxfam project aimed at providing easy access to clean water in Pacific island nations.

The project is being launched on Wednesday with the release of a short film by comedian Te Radar.

Taps Off Day will be on March 22, coinciding with World Water Day, and money pledged will go to Oxfam's water, sanitation and hygiene projects in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The anti-poverty organisation says just $75 is enough for a new tap stand in Vanuatu.

Oxfam NZ spokesperson Charlene Fitisemanu says going 24 hours without being able to turn on the taps might seem like a wild idea to most New Zealanders.

But she says it's a daily reality for many people in the Pacific, who have to walk for hours to the nearest water source - "often a river that's used for everything from drinking and washing, to bathing and using the toilet".

The event is supported by Auckland Civil Defence, and director John Dragicevich says it is more not just a way to recognise the hardship of Pacific neighbours.

He says it is also a wake-up call to New Zealanders and a reminder that this country is not immune to natural disasters affecting water supply.

People wanting to take part can register on the tapsoff.org.nz.