Lonely Planet Writer

Auckland mum's campaign wins mermaid suit ban

New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, has banned mermaid-tail swimsuits after complaints that they were unsafe and a hindrance for life-guards.

A mother saving her daughter wearing a mermaid suit in a home pool
A mother saving her daughter wearing a mermaid suit in a home pool Image by Youtube

The swimsuits keep the wearer’s legs encased in waterproof lycra and end in a fish-tail. The controversy began in Auckland after a mother posted a video showing how she had to save her young daughter who was struggling to swim in a wading pool in their backyard.

A spokeswoman for a Facebook group for mermaid-tail swimsuit enthusiasts called Mermaiding NZ, said in a statement that they were not suitable for swimming in. “Lycra mermaid tails are a magical way to have fun in the water,” she said. “For a four-year-old who wants to use it in a backyard 10ft paddling pool that’s waist deep, it’s probably not [safe]. I don’t sell them any more, and in fact sold less than 20 at the end of 2014. I wasn’t prepared to take the risk of them being used by non-competent swimmers.”

Little mermaid inspires little girls to try the mermaid-like swimsuits
Little mermaid inspires little girls to try the mermaid-like swimsuits Image by Screengrab from Disney movie

Paul McGee, Auckland council’s leisure manager said in a statement that the decision had come in line with similar ones across the rest of the world. “While they are designed for competent swimmers to use in the water, even the manufacturers recommend one-to-one supervision, which we can’t give in public pools.”

To read more:

Edmonton bans mermaid tails in city pools