Press Release – Outdoors New Zealand
Outdoors New Zealand believes the adventure activity regulations announced today by the Minister of Labour have the potential to provide significant benefits for the adventure tourism and outdoor commercial sector. Outdoors New Zealand welcomes …Thursday 13 October 2011
Adventure activity regulations – a step in the right direction.
Outdoors New Zealand believes the adventure activity regulations announced today by the Minister of Labour have the potential to provide significant benefits for the adventure tourism and outdoor commercial sector.
Outdoors New Zealand welcomes the new regulations enforcing greater safety in the outdoors. “While in our eyes the regulations may not be perfect, they are a step in the right direction to ensuring that New Zealand has a robust safety management framework for the outdoor sector. This is a positive move to address safety gaps identified in the extensive adventure tourism review carried out two years ago” says Paul Chaplow, CEO, Outdoors New Zealand.
When the regulations come into effect on 1 November 2011, adventure activity operators who fall under the regulations will be required to undertake and pass an external safety audit of their safety management systems. Although the definition of adventure activity is relatively narrow and a number of adventure activities will not be captured by the regulations, Outdoors New Zealand believes that there will be a raised expectation for the whole sector to demonstrate that they have appropriate safety systems in place. Outdoors New Zealand is calling for all outdoor operators to voluntarily undergo an external safety audit.
Outdoors New Zealand understands that risk assessment over a wide range of factors was key in decision making around what activities were included or excluded from the schedule. “We acknowledge that decisions around the complexity of safety management would have been difficult, however having some activities ‘in’ and some ‘out’ has the potential to create an uneven playing field and some may question the logic around some of the decisions” says Mr Chaplow.
Other recommendations from the review that provide support and guidance for operators, and are being developed by Outdoors New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association, will take on greater emphasis as a result.
Outdoors New Zealand believes that forward thinking operators are prepared for, and welcoming of, the changes required to improve safety standards.
Mr Chaplow goes on to say: “Our initial reading of the regulations suggest they will provide coverage for the key areas of high risk activity within the sector, but the regulation guidance material to follow will be crucial to unpacking and clarifying its content”.