Supporting Adventure News - a joint newsletter from Outdoors New Zealand and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand

Welcome to the first issue of Adventure & Outdoor Update for 2012.

In this update: gains momentum
Adventure activities regulations – update
Workshops – outcomes into action
Review recommendations – projects update gains momentum

There has been excellent uptake of the new website, as adventure tourism and outdoor commercial operators make use of this one-stop-shop for practical information and advice on running a safe business.

Most sections of the Safety Management Plan section include safety checklists which will be useful for both new and experienced operators. Use them to stimulate discussions with your team and review your own safety systems. The emergency area checklist is a great place to begin.

A key feature of the website is the support from the field section. Operators write about their own safety systems. In the operator speak area, sharing what is working well for them and why. They have included their contact details and are happy to be contacted by other operators. The safety management plan examples area contains new postings, including contributions from Outward Bound and Franz Josef Glacier Guides.

Share your experience
Operators are keen to read what works well for other operators when it comes to safety. Share your tips and insights on and help promote a culture of sharing safety information. To discuss, please email Rachael Moore, TIA Adventure & Outdoor Project Leader. 

International coverage
As well as receiving coverage in the New Zealand media, the launch of was reported by several international media outlets, reinforcing the profile of New Zealand adventure operators as world leaders in safety. 

Uptake from beyond the sector is also getting uptake from businesses and organisations outside the adventure tourism and commercial outdoors sectors. This includes safety consultants who are using the site to help their clients develop safety systems, and Fish & Game, who are using it to help develop safety systems for their drift diving operation.

Give us your feedback
As well as your contributions, please tell us how the website is working for you and how we can make it even better. Thanks to those who have already completed the short feedback survey. We are also tracking how the site is being used so we can improve functionality and content. Click here to complete the feedback survey.

Adventure activities regulations – update

The Department of Labour’s guidelines to help operators identify whether they are covered by the regulations are still to be released. We will let you know as soon as they are made public, and include a link to the guidelines on

All operators covered by the new adventure activities regulations will have to undergo an independent safety audit. DOL is continuing to work on developing the audit standard and the criteria for recognising audit providers. Use the website section on internal and external audits to help you get prepared and get the most value out of the audit process.

If you are covered by the new adventure activities regulations you have until 30 April 2012 to notify DOL of your operation. See for more information.

Workshop – outcomes into action

Late last year the TIA and Outdoors NZ Support Adventure team ran 11 regional workshops updating operators on the adventure activity regulations, the package of recommendations that came out of the government’s review into the sector and progress to date on the projects DOL has contracted TIA and Outdoors NZ to implement.

During the workshops, any concerns that operators raised were noted. These were collated into national trends in a workshop report which was presented to DOL at the end of December 2011.

Based on ideas presented by operators at the workshops, TIA and Outdoors NZ are also working with audit providers to encourage to ensure any audit models developed meet the needs of the sector.

Review recommendations – projects update

Visit the website for background information on the Adventure Safety Review projects Outdoors NZ and TIA have been contracted by DOL to complete.

Outdoors NZ project updates

Incident-wide reporting system
A report has been completed showing what is currently being used to gather and report incident data in the sector. The report also presents a recommended approach for stage three of the project. It has been sent to key stakeholders for comment. It is being sent to key stakeholders for comment and will be finalised and presented to DOL in mid-February.

There are a number of incident reporting systems in New Zealand that are designed to collect information from and for the outdoor sector. In preparing our report, Outdoors NZ has been working closely with the agencies that provides these systems, in particular Water Safety NZ and the NZ Mountain Safety Council.

We have not been contracted to develop a new system and have no authority to initiate changes to existing systems. The goal of this project is to improve what currently exists. We recognise the importance of retaining the data collected to date and encourage the ongoing use of the National Incident Database.

Levels & measure of competency
Stage two of this project is now underway. This focuses on researching levels and measures of competency that exist for adventure and outdoor commercial sector instructors and guides and investigating the sector’s attitude to qualifications and possible models.

Following consultation with operators (during March and early April), a report will be completed and presented to DOL in mid-April.
We welcome input on both these projects. Email Sue Gemmell, Outdoors NZ Project Leader.

TIA project updates

Activity safety guidelines

Following the successful launch of, work is now underway to develop detailed activity safety guidelines for specific activities.

The first three activities have been confirmed with DOL - canyoning, caving and indoor rock climbing – and are due for completion in June 2012. These activity groups are now being contacted to develop teams to work on the guidelines. Please email Rachael Moore, TIA Adventure and Outdoor Project leader, if you would like to be involved. Drafts will be sent out for consultation at the end of April.

These will be the first in a series of specific activity safety guidelines that will help businesses ensure they are operating to accepted levels of safety. As with, they will be very much by the industry, for the industry. A proposed roll-out schedule for a suite of sector wide activity safety guidelines will be developed in July 2012.

We are also developing a content guide and a process for working with operators to review and develop guidelines. These will be trialled with the canyoning, caving and indoor rock climbing groups. A draft will go out for wider consultation in June 2012. 

We welcome input for these projects. Email Rachael Moore, TIA Adventure & Outdoor Project Leader.

Next update

Our next update will be distributed in early March 2012. We’ll let you know in a ‘newsflash’ update if DOL releases its guidelines before then.

Here’s to a safe and busy summer.
Sue and Rachael

Sue Gemmell, Outdoors NZ Project Leader - Safety Review, email phone 04 385 7287 mobile 027 436 5612
Rachael Moore, TIA Adventure & Outdoor Project Leader, email, phone 04 495 0817 mobile 021 0225 2497



(Main photo by Tika Ram Aryal of Polynesian Spa, Rotorua)


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