Oxfam urges New Zealanders to turn their taps off for a day

With thousands of people around the world still without a reliable supply of water, Oxfam NZ has released a short film starring comedian, writer and TV personality Te Radar urging New Zealanders to go 24 hours without turning on their taps.

The short film shows Radar preparing for Taps Off Day on the 22 March as he collects water in buckets to drink, cook and bathe in. The video also shows him go through a series of humorous—and ridiculous—ways to try and keep hydrated without turning the taps on, such as licking his windows, slurping from a dog bowl and sipping from a toilet’s water reservoir. 

While much of the campaign work was produced in-house by Oxfam’s communications team, Radar lent some of his creativity and humour to the video and the film itself was executed by production company 90 Seconds.

Oxfam is hoping thousands of New Zealanders will take part in Taps Off Day, which is set to coincide with World Water Day. Those taking the plunge on 22 March can’t turn any taps on from midnight (with the exception of flushing), but can fill up bottles, buckets and other containers with water the day before. 

To take part, participants pledge anywhere from $10 up, with all money going towards Oxfam’s water, sanitation and hygiene projects in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Papua New Guinea currently has one of the lowest rates of access to clean, safe water in the world.

“In Papua New Guinea, women and girls spend hours every day collecting water from rivers that’s often not even safe to drink,” says Radar. “By taking part in Taps Off Day, you can help them access clean water, so that they and their families can lead safer, healthier lives.”

Auckland Civil Defence director John Dragicevich added that Taps Off Day is not only a way to recognise the hardship of our Pacific neighbours, it is also a wake-up call for us locally.

“Auckland Civil Defence is supporting this campaign as a reminder that we are not immune to natural disasters affecting our water supply.
“We know that the average New Zealander uses about 200 litres of water every single day. Taps Off Day is a great way to raise awareness of the issues we would face if our local water supply was ever to be compromised. It is a reminder to check our emergency supplies and to think about how prepared we are,” says Dragicevich.

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