With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.
“We are seeing international visitor numbers begin to climb, with over 134,000 visiting here in July alone,” Michael Wood said.
“Our adventure activities sector is a major draw card for the prosperity of our regions, and it’s important for our economic security that we maintain high safety standards in the sector so that we can continue to attract tourists to many of the regional based activities.
“Following an extensive public consultation, and targeted sector work, I am pleased to confirm a package of changes to the adventure activities regulatory regime that will support improved safety standards in the sector.”
The package of changes include four areas:
· introducing specific requirements for how adventure activity operators must assess and manage natural hazard risks
· strengthening requirements for operators to communicate risks to activity participants
· stronger operator registration and notification requirements
· reviewing and updating adventure activity safety guidance.
“Together, these changes are targeted towards the areas the sector has told us will make the most practical difference for safety, while avoiding significant new costs or restricting access to activities,” Michael Wood said.
“These changes will result in clearer, more consistent standards for what organisations providing adventure activities must do to manage risks. They will also support WorkSafe to take a stronger monitoring and enforcement role.
“Most adventure activity operators are already following good practice and will only need to make minor adjustments to their safety systems. The aim of these changes is to help standardise these good practices and spread them across the sector.
“These changes form part of the Government’s response to the Whakaari/White Island tragedy in December 2019. Making improvements to the regulatory regime for adventure activities is one area of change to help prevent injury and loss of life in the future,” Michael Wood said.
WorkSafe will be working with the sector to implement the changes that are expected to be fully implemented by late 2023.