Cabinet has approved regulations to improve safety in the commercial adventure tourism and outdoor education industries, which will come into effect on 1 November 2011. The regulations sit under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 requiring commercial adventure tourism and outdoor education operators in New Zealand who provide activities that are designed to deliberately expose participants to a managed risk of serious harm, to undergo a safety audit and be registered.
From 1 November 2011 affected operators have six months to notify the Department of Labour about their operation. This is a simple process and you will be able to do this online or via post or fax. More details will be available on this website before 1 November.
Operators will then have three years until November 2014 to ensure they are audited and registered unless the Department of Labour asks them to complete an audit at an earlier time. More information on the safety audit standard will be available in early 2012.
How do operators know if they have to meet the regulations – what is ‘designed to deliberately expose participants to risk of serious harm that must be managed by the provider’?
The Department of Labour will be issuing a guidance document which will provide examples and advice about this to help operators identify whether they are affected by the regulations.
Is it possible to be exempted from the regulations?
Yes. The regulations provide for exemptions on a case-by-case basis where the Department is satisfied an operator does not pose a safety risk.
What are the major changes between the draft regulations released for consultation in July 2011 and the final version?
The final regulations cover activities that are designed to deliberately expose participants to risk of serious harm that must be managed by the provider - a narrower, tighter definition. The definition of adventure activity in the regulations will also capture the higher risk end of some activities that are not in the illustrative schedule, for example, high altitude trekking such as through the Copeland Pass on Mt Aoraki.
Windsurfing is NOT in the illustrative schedule
Statement by Minister of Labour