Dr Kevin Moran

PhD, MEd (1st Class Hons), BA (Com Hons), Cert Ed


Kevin is a Principal Lecturer in Health and Physical Education in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. Kevin has had a lifelong commitment to drowning prevention as a researcher and an educator. He has been a frontline surf lifeguard for almost 50 years, still currently patrolling one of New Zealand’s rugged west coast beaches at Muriwai, near Auckland. He is a member of the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) Research and Information Committee, a Co-chair of the International Task Force on Open Water Drowning Prevention, a foundation member of the New Zealand Drowning Prevention Council, and Chairman of Watersafe Auckland Inc (WAI). His recent publications include studies on: toddler parent perceptions of CPR and drowning prevention; parental supervision of children at beaches; lifeguard CPR knowledge and beliefs; rock fisher water safety; defining swimming ability in the context of drowning prevention, and high risk behaviours among youth around water.

Educational history:

Taught Physical Education in secondary schools in Britain and New Zealand until becoming lecturer in Physical Education in the Secondary Teachers College Auckland in 1974. Established professional undergraduate degree programme in Physical Education at Auckland College of Education in 1998.


Moran, K. (2006). Re-thinking drowning risk: the role of water safety knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in the aquatic recreation of New Zealand youth historical study of curriculum policy and practice. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Massey University, New Zealand.

Research | Current

  • Water safety and drowning prevention
  • Injury risk perception
  • Surf lifesaving

Recent publications

Teaching | Current

  • BPE programme

Postgraduate supervision

Main supervisor of doctoral candidate studying the role of aquatic competencies in drowning prevention.

Main supervisor of master candidate studying the surf safety knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of New Zealand youth.


  • 2015 New Year's Honours awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for "services to water safety and lifesaving"
  • 2014 The Irish Medal awarded by the Lifesaving Foundation in international recognition of “an exceptional contribution to saving lives from drowning.”
  • 2012 Life Membership, Muriwai Lifeguard Services Inc.
  • 2011 Distinguished Service Award for Services to Surf Lifesaving Northern
  • 2010 Distinguished Service Award for Services to Surf Lifesaving New Zealand
  • 2007 ACC/ Safe Communities Foundation Injury Prevention and Safety Award
  • 2005 Service Award for Services to Surf Lifesaving New Zealand
  • 2004 Service Award for Services to Surf Lifesaving Northern
  • 2002 Winston Churchill Fellowship, awarded Government House, September, 2004

Areas of expertise

  • Aquatics education and drowning prevention

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2014 - present, Advisor Water Safety New Zealand Cross Sector Reference Group
  • 2013 - present, Member, International Committee on Defining Swimming Competency in Drowning Prevention (ILS sanctioned)
  • 2012 - present, Member, Advisory Committee of WHO Global Report on Drowning Prevention
  • 2012 - present, Board member, Watersafe Auckland Incorporated (WAI)
  • 2008 -11, Co-chair, International Task Force on Open Water Drowning Prevention (DPCNZ)
  • 2009 - present, Member, Research & Information Committee, International Lifesaving Federation (ILS)
  • 2008 - 2012, Council Member, Drowning Prevention Council of New Zealand
  • 2008 - 2010, Chairman, Research Committee, Drowning Prevention Council of New Zealand
  • 1994 -2012, Chairman, Watersafe Auckland Incorporated (WAI)
  • 2010 - 2011, Member, Ministerial Steering Group, Kia tutahi, a joint community-government partnership
  • 2011 - present, Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Webber, J., Moran, K., & Cumin, D. (2019). Paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation: Knowledge and perceptions of surf lifeguards. Journal of paediatrics and child health, 55 (2), 156-161. 10.1111/jpc.14097
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44814
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jonathon Webber, David Cumin
  • Willcox-Pidgeon, S., Kool, B., & Moran, K. (2018). Perceptions of the risk of drowning at surf beaches among New Zealand youth. International journal of injury control and safety promotion, 25 (4), 365-371. 10.1080/17457300.2018.1431939
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41094
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bridget Kool
  • Moran, K., & Gilmore, A. (2018). Children's Understanding of Water Safety and Perceptions of Risk at the Beach. NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, 53 (2), 227-239. 10.1007/s40841-018-0118-3
  • Podstawski, R., Moran, K., Mankowski, S., Choszcz, D., & Sarcevic, Z. (2017). Socioeconomics Influences on the Water Competencies of Young Adult Polish Male (vol 74, pg 19, 2017). PHYSICAL CULTURE AND SPORT STUDIES AND RESEARCH, 75 (1), 73-73. 10.1515/pcssr-2017-0015
  • Moran, K. (2017). Rock-based Fisher Safety Promotion: A Decade On. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 10 (2).10.25035/ijare.10.02.01
  • Moran, K., Webber, J., & Stanley, T. (2017). The 4Rs of Aquatic Rescue: educating the public about safety and risks of bystander rescue. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 24 (3), 396-405. 10.1080/17457300.2016.1224904
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/36080
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jonathon Webber
  • Stanley, T., & Moran, K. (2016). Parental Perceptions of Water Competence and Drowning Risk for Themselves and Their Children in an Open Water Environment. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 10 (1).10.25035/ijare.10.01.04
  • Moran, K., & Sempsrott, J. (2016). Beach lifeguard first aid. In M. Tipton, A. Wooler (Eds.) (pp. 115-141). CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Dr Kevin Moran

WaterSafe Auckland Inc (WAI)

PO Box 8163, Symonds St, Auckland

Ph: +64 9 306 0809

Fax: +64 9 306 0811

Website: www.watersafe.org.nz


Primary office location

Level 5, Room 520
New Zealand

Web links