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Tongariro Alpine Crossing In The Spotlight for Safety Group

Tongariro Alpine Crossing In The Spotlight for Safety Advisory Group

Mountain Safety Council has initiated its second ‘Issue Specific Advisory Group’ this time focusing on the hugely popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing (TAC).

Expressions of interest are now open to become part of an advisory group which will have a positive impact on reducing harm and improving the experiences for walkers on the TAC.

The TAC has been selected as a ‘hotspot’ location for this evidenced-based, solution-focused process by the Mountain Safety Council (MSC). Factors that contributed to selecting the TAC include having the highest recorded Search and Rescue incidents per year for any trip in New Zealand as well as the high-risk potential for severe weather events combined with the significant number of generally under-prepared users.

The MSC selected the TAC as its first priority through a robust evidence-based process, drawing on a combination of insights developed through ACC, NZ Police, Rescue Co-ordination Centre and Coronial data sources, as well as clear commitment from partner organisations that now was the time to tackle this growing concern.

“DOC supports the use of an evidenced-based Issue Specific Advisory Group that focuses on addressing the safety issues unique to the New Zealand outdoors. DOC will be working closely with the MSC as they lead this independent process and we’re looking forward to collaborating on the solutions that will improve visitor safety in our parks and recreation areas.” — Bhrent Guy, Operations Manager Tongariro District

“As kaitiaki (guardians) of our ancestral lands, part of that role is to ensure the safety of manuhiri (visitors) whilst within Tongariro National Park and the surrounds. Ngāti Hikairo welcomes MSC and are looking forward to the collaborative work to address the adequate preparation of visitors before entering this often harsh environment. We want to ensure manuhiri leave this place safely with lasting memories”. Bubs Smith — Ngāti Hikairo

“As a long-time member of a SAR Co-ordinating Authority in this country and a rescue helicopter crew that has picked up many injured hikers off the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, I welcome this truly prevention focused initiative. I fully support the implementation of an independent expert advisory group led by the Mountain Safety Council. The ability to approach this complex issue through an evidence-based lens and then develop targeted solutions will provide a much better opportunity for addressing the rising number of SAR incidents.” — Senior Constable Barry Shepherd, NZ Police.

The purpose of the advisory group is to utilise insights to identify what is causing people to experience safety issues and to use their expertise to develop specific targeted interventions that aim to reduce the number of safety incidents on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Mike Daisley, CEO of Mountain Safety Council asserts that by critically analysing incident data the community are able to make informed decisions about possible interventions.

“Using an evidence-based approach, actual knowledge of safety issues, ensures we’re focusing our collective prevention resources on topics that need to be solved, rather than what we think needs solving.”

“This approach will enable us to make the greatest difference to reducing incidents in the outdoors”

“The ‘issue specific’ process allows us to bring together a range of people who can contribute their expertise to help develop targeted solutions,” he concluded.

MSC is looking for up to eight people to form an advisory group. A diverse range of competencies are required. These include an understanding of human decision making including social and psychological factors, the ability to understand a target audience and develop relevant content and use channels and techniques that connect with and engage the target audience, as well as the ability to make evidence-based decisions.

For more information about this unique opportunity (including how the advisory process works) or to express your interest please click here.


• Advisory Group Terms of Reference

• MSC Insights: A Walk in the Park?


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