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SPARC Speaks Out to Defend Sport Recreation Events

SPARC Speaks Out to Defend Sport and Recreation Events

Media Release
Monday 11 August

SPARC Speaks Out to Defend Sport and Recreation Events

Nicholas Hill, CEO of SPARC has spoken out after Astrid Anderson was found guilty in the district court last week. Anderson was found guilty of criminal nuisance after a cyclist died in a head on crash in 2001.

Hill states "that while the accident was a tragedy, I do not believe there is a general problem with risk management of sport and recreation events in New Zealand".

"Nevertheless, this case does raise concerns for the future of sport and recreation events in New Zealand. It has brought the issue to the fore and will have created a certain amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the volunteer sector."

SPARC will be looking at the issues that have been raised with regards to Le Race. Hill says "we need to establish what can be learned, and clarify the extent to which the issues are specific to Le Race rather than generic".

"The key issue for organisers of events is balancing the safety of participants and spectators against the viability of running events. There are a number of steps that sport and recreation organisations can employ to reduce any potential liability. The focus needs to be on identifying and minimising or eliminating any potential risks to spectators, participants, and property," said Hill.

To assist organisations planning events, SPARC recently prepared some preliminary guidelines. These guidelines outline the legal obligations and liabilities of sport and recreation clubs and organisations in New Zealand, and possible ways to minimise liability.

SPARC will be reviewing these guidelines in light of the Astrid Anderson decision, and will consult with a number of parties to establish whether any further measures are called for.


The Legal Obligations and Liabilities of Sport and Recreation Clubs and Organisations Guidelines are available on the SPARC website at

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