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MNZ welcomes Adventure Activities Regulations

DATE: 13 October 2011 TIME: 2.45 pm

MNZ welcomes Adventure Activities Regulations

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has welcomed the introduction of new regulations that will require commercial tourism and outdoor education operators who run high-risk activities to undergo a safety audit and be registered.

MNZ contributed to the development of the Adventure Activities Regulations, along with the Department of Labour and other agencies. The regulations come under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and address safety concerns identified in the Review of Risk Management and Safety in the Adventure and Outdoor Commercial Sectors.

MNZ Deputy Director, Lindsay Sturt, says the regulations put in place a safety framework that will provide greater levels of assurance that higher risk activities meet appropriate safety standards.

“The review found that most adventure operators manage risk well. Most maritime based adventure activities, such as commercial jet boating and rafting, are already required to undergo safety audits under maritime rules and will not come under the new system. The changes address gaps in the regulatory framework and will help ensure safety in higher-risk parts of the adventure sector.”

The regulations require commercial adventure tourism and outdoor education operators who provide activities designed to deliberately expose participants to a risk of serious harm to undergo a safety audit and to be registered. The regulations will not apply to certified maritime-based adventure operations that already require a safety audit under a maritime rule. The regulations will also not apply to operations that don’t charge fees and/or provide activities that are not taught or guided.

From 1 November 2011, all affected operators will have six months to provide a simple notification of their operation. Affected operators will have three years from 1 November to undergo an audit in accordance with the regulations. Affected operators who already have a safety audit in place, for example under the MNZ Commercial White-water Boarding Guidelines or Department of Conservation concessions, will generally have those audits recognised and not be required to undergo a further audit until their present audit period expires.

As the designated agency responsible for administering the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 for the maritime sector, MNZ will work with the Department of Labour to advise next steps for operators and to clarify the application of the regulations. In the meantime, operators are asked to please refer to the Adventure Activities webpage for further information: http://www.dol.govt.nz/consultation/adventure-tourism/update.asp

ENDS

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